Skip to main content

Full text of "Eight sermons preached before the University of Oxford, in the year 1780, at the lecture founded by the late rev. and pious John Bampton ... To which is added, A vindication of St. Paul from the charge of wishing himself accursed, a sermon preached likewise before the University, on Sunday, March 14, 1778"

See other formats




Cornell University Library 
BR 45.B21 1780 

Eight sermons preached M9JS|,,i*J?,,,}|{,llS 

1924 026 429 302 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tlie Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 





In the year 1780, 
At the lecture founded by the late 

Rev. and Pious JOHN BAMPTON, M. A. 



From tHe Charge of wifliing himfelf accurfed, , 


Preached likewise before the University, on 
Sunday, March 14, 1778. 




Priijted forD. Prince and J. Cooke, J. and J. Fletcher; 

J. F. and C. Rivington, and T. Cadell,- London. 

M Dec LXXX. 


GEO. H O R N E, 

Mar. 6. 1 780. Vic?-CaA, Ox o n 


The heaps of COLLEGES; 








ExtfaB frofh the tuft Will md Tef- 
tament of the late kei). J O H N 
BAMPTON, Cmmn of Saliftiury. 

I give arid bequeath my Lands 

and Eftates to tKe CKancellor, Maft'eirs, 
and Scholars of |rhe Univcrfity of Ox- 
ford for ever, to have and to hoM all 
and lingular the faid Lands or Eftates 
ripon truft, and to the intents and pur* 
pofes hereinafter mentioned i that is to 
fay, I will and appoint, that the Vice- 
Chancellor of the Univerfity of Oxford 
for the time being {hall take and re- 
ceive all the rentsi iffues, and profits 
thereof, and (after all' taxes, reparations, 
and AeCeffary deduftions made) that he 
pay all the retnaiiiider to the endow- 
ment of eight DiViiiitj^ Ledture Ser- 
mons, to be eftabliilied' for ever in the 
faid Univerfity, and to be performed in 
the manner following : 

** I dired and appoint, thdt, upon the 

" firft Tuefday in Eafter Term, a Lec- 

a " turer 

" turer be yearly chofen by the Heads of 
** Colleges only, and by no others, in the 
** room adjoining to the Printing-Houfe^ 
" between the hours of ten iii the morn- 
" ing and two in the afternoon, to preach 
** eight Divinity Lefture Sermons, the 
*' year following, at St. Mary's, in Ox^ 
** ford, between the comniencement of 
'* the laft month in Lent Term, and the. 
« end of the third week in Aft Term. 

" Alfo I dired and appoint, that the 
" eight Divinity Ledlure Sermons fhall be 
'* preached upon either of the following 
" fubjedls — to confirm and eftablifh; the . 
*• Chriflian Faith, and to confute. all. he- 
•* retics and fchifmatics-^upon the divine. 
** authority of the Holy Scriptures — rupoii > 
" the authority of the writings of the, 
** primitive Fathers as to the faith and 
«* pradlice of the primitive Church — 
" upon the Divinity of our Lord and Sa- 
'* viour Jefus Chrift — upon the Djivinity, 
" of the Holy Ghoft— upon the' Articles , 
" of the Chriflian Faith, as comprehend- 
*' ed in the Apoftles' and Nicene Grepds. 



** Alfo I direft, that thirty copies of 
** the eight Divinity LeSure Sermons 
*' fhall be always printed, within two 
** months after they are preached, and 
** one copy fhall be given to the Chan- 
•* eel lor of the Univerfity, and one copy 
*• to the Head of every College, and one 
*• copy to the Mayor of the City of Ox- 
*• ford, and one copy to be put into* the 
*' Bodleian Library ; and the expence of 
** printing them fliall be paid out of the 
** revenue of the Lands or Eftates given 
** for eftablifhing the Divinity Lefture 
*' Sermons ; and the Preacher fhall not be 
*• paid, nor be entitled to the revenue, 
•* before they are printed. 

** Alfo I dire<9: and appoint, that no 
** perfon fhall be qualified to preach the, 
** Divinity Lefture Sermons, unlefs he 
** hath taken the Degree of Mafler of 
** Arts at leafl, in one of the two Uni- 
** verfities of Oxford or Cambridge j and 
*• that the fame perfon (hall never preacl) 
** the Divinity Le«3:ure Sermons twice." 

^he clear income of Mr. Bampton's eftate 
amounts to about 120/. per ann. 

a 2 CON- 



Philipp. iv. 8. 

Whdtjb^erthvtgs dre true, whatjbever things 
areim^, kshatfoeyer things arejuji, ^^'at- 
Jbever things are puh, whdtfoever things 
are lovefy,"^hdtfiever things ^re of ^ood 
report i ^if thtre he any^irttt^t if there be 
any praife ; think on thefe things^ Page i 


Rom. X. 14, 15. 

How Jhall th^. cc^ on ^iifijn whom thef 
have not belieniedf and how Jhall they be- 
lieve in hi^ ef vd^ou^ih^^a^fiot h^^f 
/J^d^^ ha^ J^aU they hefir 'mitki^' a 
prsaebert lfl^\how fixaU'^ey ^^if/^i^^' 
fe^t theyj)efent f ' "S 5 



Isaiah Ixi. i, 2. 

'jthe Spirit of the Lord is upon me; becaufe 

the Lor^dhath anointed me to preach good 

tidings unto the meek ; he hath fent me 

"to bind up the hroken-bearted, to proclaim 

, liberty to the captives, and the opening 
tf the prifon to them that are bounds 
ta proclaim the acceptable year of the Lor d^ 



Ephes. i. 3. 

Blejfed be God and the father- of our Lonf 
Jefus Chrifty who hath bleffed us wit I): 
all'fpiritual blejfings in heavenly places in 
Chriji. __ ^. 115 

C O N T E N T S; iac 

I John i. i, 2, 3. 

'^bat lubich was from the beginnings ivbicb 
•we have beard, wbicb we bave feen with 
our ^es, •wbicb we bave looked upon, and 
our bands bave handled of tbe word of Ufe 
(for tbe life was manifejled, and we bave 
feen itt <itid bear witnefs, and Jbew unto 
you tbat eternal Ufe wbicb was witb tbe 
fatber and was manifejled unto us.} ^bat 
wbicb we bave feen and beard declare we 
unto you. 157 


1 Cor. xi. i^. 

ftbere mujl be alfo berefies among you. 197 


2 Pet. i. 19. 

W6 bave alfo a more fure word of prbpbecy, 
ivher-eunioye do well that ye take heed. 231 

li^ C 6 N f ]^ N f & 

s E R M o N vin. 

" . f ' 

Phil. fv. 8. 

Fmalty, Bret brent whaffoever things are true, 
what/Q&oer things are honefi, whatfoever 
things are jtifty what/oerer things are pure, 
wbat/he'ver things are /ovefy, p&atjbever 
things are of good report ; if there be any 
virtue, and if there be any praife, think 
m thefe things. 267 

A Vindication of St, Faul from the charge 
of wifliing himfelf accurfed : 

A Sermon preached before the Univerfity 
of Oxford. 

'R o M. ix. 2, 3*' 

1 have great heaviAefs and continual forrow in 
my heart. For J could wijh that myfelfnveN. 
accurfed from Chrijifot my brethren, 3 



Philip p. iv. 8. 

Whatfoever things are true, whatfoevef thingi 
are honejit whatfoever things are jujit 
whatjbever things are pure, nvhatfoever 
things are lovely, 'whatfoever things are 
fff good report ; if there be any virtue, if 
there be any praife ; think on thefo things, 

/* I A HIS Epiftle does not, like many 

I others written by our Apoftle, con- 

fift of cenfure and reproof for cpr- 

rqpt dodrines and vicious pradlices : it 

abounds on the contrary with expreffions 

and teftimonies not only of fervent affec-p 

tion, but likewife chearful confidence. 

This honourable diftinftion the Philippians 

certainly had deferved on account of their 

A aseal 

2 S E R M O N I. 

zeal' for St. Paul and the part they took 
in his Tufferings, adminiftering to his 
wants and relieving his neceffities : but 
they had a ftill higher elainv to it by their 
fortitude in various conflicts with the ad- 
verfaries of Chrift, their conftancy in the 
faith, and ftedfaAnefs in the defence and 
maintenance of the gofpel. This he ac- 
knowledges with joy and pride ; to his 
commendations for fo illuftrious an ex- 
ample of fidelity adding nothing but ten- 
der and powerful exhortations to prefer ve 
their cha^radter by the fame firm and refo-- 
lilte adherehce to the truth, and a generous 
ambition of excelling in the genuine 
'^ fruits of righteoufnefi wbkh are by Jefui 
Chrijl untQ the ghry and praife of God. 

The fame teftimony of affedion and 
confidence, the fame acknowledgement of 
Zeal, commendation for fidelity, and ex- 
hortation to a fteady continuance in piety 
and virtue is evidently implied in the pre- 
ference, by which that worthy perfon (to 
fulfiU whofe pious intentions we are this 
day aflbmbled) has diftinguifh^d thofe, 
» PU\ i. II, 


S E R M d K I. I 

Xvhom he has appointed the diipenfers of 
his munificence for the general improve- 
ment of the whole hou/fe^old qC God. 

This fpiritual relation, which I trufl; ia 
Go^ holds good between St. Paul's favoy* 
rite Church and thofe feledt members q( 
our own whom I am now addrdfing, has 
naturally led me" in my entrance upon this 
honourable truft to have a more particular 
attention to this epiflle ; of which tho 
paflage I have chofen for my text is the 
tlofe and epilogue ; the compendium and 
fummary of thq whole c in which ZT^ 
contained all duties, j(^(?c«/^?//iJ^'ao4 prac-r 
tical'j truth, the foundation ,j tbs.immd 
mrtues with ■ their emeomtant gracfs,. the 
fuperftrudture and ofnament of the chdf*- 
tian edifice. 

Truth confidered in oppofition to errof 
having its feat in the Jpecu/athve is (at 
leaft in the order of our apprehenfion) an- 
t^ecedent to, and therefore Very juilly placed 
by our Apoille at, the head of every excel-r 
lence that can be the obje6t of the praSii- 
cal ijitelled. It is the criterion by which 
A 2 religion 


religion is diftinguiflied from mere mora- 
lity, the caufe and the bafis of genuine 
virtue ani piety ; which are the natural^ 
I had almoft faid neceflary, confequence of 
duly apprehending the nature arid the laws 
of God : and herein the great dignity of 
truth appears, that it is fo intimately con- 
neifted with that which forms the perfec- 
tion and diftinguiihing charader of man. 
Of all the inhabitants of the earth man 
alone is capable of religion ; to worlhip 
God is his prerogative ^ ; and in order to 
this great and glorious purpofe God creat-. 
■ed him in his own image, and communi- 
cated (if I may fo fpeak) more of himfelf 
to him than to any other part of this crea- 
tion, plainly intimating that as without 
the faculties of reafon and intelledt man 
could not be capable of religion, fo without 
a due exercife of thofe faculties he cannot 
he truly faid to be religious. If this prin- 
ciple is wanting, there can be no folid 
ground whereon to fix a right pradtice ; 
all our faireft adtions muft lofe their uni- 
formity, beauty, and excellence; the whole 

•* Ex tot generibus nullum eft animal prater homijiem 
quod habeat notitiam aliquani Dei. Cjccro de I^eg. ]. j. i8, 


S E R M O N I. ^ 

fabric of religion muft tumble, being de- 
prived of that fupport which alone can 
give it ftabilityj becaufe truth being found- 
ed on the nature of God muft be, like its 
author, and original, eternal and immut- 
able % thejameyejierday, to-day, and fir ever. 

No man yet arrived to that degree of 
abfurdity in wickedn,ef$ aS to deny that it 
is our duty to aft according to our krioisi- 
ledge-f and furely the very fame reafon, 
which makes knowledge the rule of our 
a<ftions, makes it likewife our duty to take 
all proper methods of acquiring that 
knowledge, that we may have a fure and 
firm, foundation whereon to build both 
our faith and practice. We are indeed told 
by the church of Rome, in excufe of that 
fpiritual tyranny which it has fet up over 
the minds of men, that ignorance is the 
mother of devotion ; but the fatal experience 
of many centuries muft have convinced 
fuch even of its own members, as are not 
totally blinded by prejudice, that it has 
given birth only to fuperftition and infide- 
lity, offsprings well worthy of luch a pa- 
's //<^. xiii. 8. 

A3 rent. 


t&ii. Hi God has given us^ feafon that we 
might he influenced by rational motives : 
without thebi our belief however true, 
our worfhip however pure, cannot proper- 
ly be called .religious j becaufe they want 
th^t coniHtative principle which, render- 
ing man alone capable of religion, renders 
him likewife inexcufable if he negled:s 
thofe communications of himfelf which 
God offers him, and, obftinately refufes to 
employ his faculties in the fearch of fpiri- 
tual truth, the nature of God, his perfec- 
tions, and ! eternal will, the only certain 
and unerring rule of worfhip. Ignorance 
under the means of knowledge, whether, 
carelefs or prefumptuous, fb far from be-t 
ing ah excufe is an aggravation of guilt : 
it argues a gracelefs difpofition, aJsdicates, 
the dignity of human nature, difappoints 
the purpofe which the Almighty aimed at 
in oiir creation, defpifes his honour, and 
renounces his authority. 

iThus in refpedl of God do both . ow 
dufy anii gratitude oblige us to a j free and 
impartial enquiry into the principles upqp 
which religion is built; I hy, free and 


S E R M O N I.^ '7 

•mfartial ; for no enquiry can l?e fucceff- 
ful where the reafoning faculties are under 
any controul from within or without j 
and it is that very freedom of thinking 
which mafccs an intelledual .a^ent refpon- 
iible ■ for his opinions, as freedom of a(!t- 
ing makes a moral one refponlible for his 
adlions : the true liberty of both cseafifts 
in hearkenitig to the dilates of reafon», in 
a clear wnbiafled judgement, and in a 
power of afting conforma;bly t-hcreanto ^ 
and this liberty they both part with, 
whenever they fuifer their will to ibe di- 
reOied by any other than its natural and 
proper motive, which Js a right under- 
ftanding : for thea reafon is dethroned, 
4:heir paffions govern them even again ft 
stheir judgement, and they become flaves 
to falfe appearances, to error, prejudice, 
and obftanacy. j *; 

To fuffer fuch an abufe 6f our faculties 
is not only ingratitude and treafon againft 
God, but injujike /« mtrfelvess a violence 
done to our nature, whofe frame and con- 
iSatution is admirably adapted to the, to- 
ceptioa and entertainment df truth. It is 
A 4 often 

8 5 E R M O N I. 

often by a beautiful and juft metaphor 
called the food of the mind ; becaufe it 
nouriflies and invigorates its faculties, and 
being homogeneous is eafily aflimilated and 
converted itito its very nature and fub- 
ftance. All other creatures appear to em- 
ploy their powers upon that which tends 
to the improvement and peffedion of their 
being. Man feels an axftive flame within 
his breaft which is cdnftantly urging him 
on in the purfuit after knowledge. Can he 
then juftify to himfelf the perverfion or 
even the negleft of this the nobleft of all 
principles? ought it not to be employed 
about the nobleft objedl ? and what objed 
can be fo noble as the higheft and mqft 
excellent of all beings, his glorious per- 
fe<flions, the diiferent relations we ftand in 
to him, and the obligations which arife 
from thofe relations upon all intelligent 
beings ? The variety and fublimity of the 
ti'uths and their real importance and uni- 
verfal concernment to the well-being of 
man ail concur to recommend this ftudy. 
It is beyond all analogy infinitely fuperior 
to every other fcience : the objedl is God 
liimfelf, the father of light, the fountain 



of all knowledge; and the end of it the 
glory of God and the happinefs of man. 
This laft circumftance adds great weight 
to the motives already mentioned, and 
greatly enhances not only the propriety but 
alfo the necejjity of our being felicitous and 
diligent in our endeavours to fatisfy our- 
felves about the evidence, the grounds, and 
principles of religion, 

■ ■* That there are in the nature of things 
fuch principles I take for granted ; the no- 
tion of a God is univerfal, and that it was 
not ftamped upon man merely to be the 
fubjed; of curious and idle fpeculation, is 
evident from that natural difpofition to 
V^orfhip him which is as univerfal as the 
notion. Hence arofe the conceit of the 
Jews, that man was created on the eve of 
the fabbath, that he might begin his being 
with the worihip of his creator j and even 
the idolatry of the heathen world clearly 
owed its rif^. to this original imprefllon 

* Omnes tamen effe vim & raturam divinam arbitritituT. 
Nee vero id'collocutio hominum aut ccnfenfus efficit; non 
inAitutis opinio eft confirmata, non legibus. Omni autem 
in re confenfio omnium gentium lexjiacurse putanda eft. 
(iicer;. fufc. queeft. 1. I. c. 13. 


10 S E R M O N I. 

Jhowever -perverted, to. a conviction how- 
ever raifapplled, of this natural duty. They 
could not totally raze out, but they de- 
faced and disfigured the charadlers of God 
written upon, the foul; they did not deny 
his being, but worfhipped the creature 
* TTUfo, Tov ^kTiouvla bejide or in. conjunSliou 
^ithiht creator. This fubjed: has been fo 
copioully handled, and the being and pro- 
vidence of God fo fully and undeniably 
proved by many learned and pious men, 
that I hold it altogether needlefs to enter 
into a tedious repetition, or attempt a new 
arrangement of their argumeMs. Why 
ihould I dwell, efpecially before this au- 
dience, on the harmony, prefervation, and 
iymmetry of the whole univerfe, the won- 
derful fabrick of our bodies, and the ftill 
more wonderful faculties of our foijis,when 
our imperfe£tions themfelves lead us by an 
eafy and plain inference to an irrefragable 
proof of our dependance upon a fuperior 
being? for as the idea pf felf-exiftence ne-^ 
ceffarily excludes all imperfedtions, what- 
ever is imperfedt mufl: have fome higher 
caufe, which infenfibly leads us to the au- 

' Rom.l, 25, 


S E R M O N I. n 

thor of all beiftgs, who has no cauie widaout 
himfelf. As I have therefore hitherto ar- 
gued, fo.ihall I continue to argue, without 
a formal difcuffion ©f what I think ought 
to be aflunied as an axiom in philoCophyi 
not only becaiafe to require a proof of that, 
of which our very being is a demonftration, 
implies fbmething not unlifce'4n abfurdity j 
but likewife becaufe revelation, wtich is 
to be the fubjedt of thefe difeourfes, net- 
cefiarily includes within it the id^a of a 
God to grant that revelation -, the trath of 
w^hich being provedj by the feme arguments 
will of eourfe be proved the cxiftence and 
divinity of its author. 

As the idea of a God is included hi that 
of a revelation, fo will I flot fcruple to af- 
firm that a divine revelation is a neceifary 
eonfequenee of the ekiftence t)f God^ It 
feems (with reverence be it fpdken ) alto- 
gether ioconfiitent with either the wifdoru 
or goodnefs of God to bave >made moral 
agents without prefcribing them fome law, 
to require - vVorfhip and ferviefes without 
fome declaration- or information, however 
conveyed, of the worfljip and fervtfces Which 


1^ S E R M O N L 

would be accepted ; for thefe the noblefl; 
and moft ufeful parts of knowledge, and 
confequently the moft neceflary and .fit to 
be learned, as they are ftiled by Plato,. ' na 
man (adds the fame philofopber) can teach 
except he bejirji taught of God. If therefwe 
unaffifted reafon is unequal to this, tafk 
(and the authority of fo great a mafter of 
reafon is furely in this cafe conclufive) it 
is more than probable that God did not 
leave our firft parent, in a ftate of darknefs 
and uncertainty, expofed to all the miferies 
which fpring from ignorance and error; 
but originally gave him fome rule of life, 
difcovered to him by immediate revelation 
all the neceflary truths of what is called 
natural religion. If thefe truths and the 
duties refulting from them came in pro- 
cefs of time by whatever accident to be 
forgotten, the expediency of a fupernati;- 
ral information recurs ; for as in corporeal, 
fo Hkewife in Jpiritual blindnefs, when the 
faculty of fight is entirely loft, no power 

A»' if' cir A%ie|»Ei> « f*J &iU o^itjsTti. Eftaem, There 
are many paffages of the fame import interfperfed in all his 
works; particiilarly ia the fourth hook de Ref. Jpol. Soerai. 
«ad the Phado. 



fhort of omnipotence is equal to the re- 
newal of it : it is a new creation i for 
from total privation to abfolute reftoration, 
the diftance is the fame as from non-enti- 
ty to exiftenCe : and, whenever God pleafes 
to interpofe, the fame obedience which 
was due to the firft, is due likewife to 
every fubfequent declaration of his will, 
the validity of each being derived from 
the fame authority. Whoever therefore 
believes in God, being under a natural ob-; 
ligation of conforming to his will when 
known, is neceffarily bound to enquire 
whether he has given any particular reve- 
lation of it, and confequently, when there 
are pretenfions to it, to examine ferioufly 
and i^mpartially the evidences upon which 
fiich pretenfions are grounded. The ne- 
ceffijty of fome information more than hu- 
man we have feen acknowledged by Plato, 
and many other parages to the fame pur- 
pofe might have been adduced out of his 
writings, as well as thofe of his great 
Roman interpreter- The account indeed, 
which the latter gives us of the abfurdity 
and impiety of both the phibfopbical and 
religious tenets of his time, renders it 



highly probable upoa principles of mere 
reafoh that God, whofe mercy is over all 
his works, woiild interfere in behalf of 
his creaturdSi reflore primitive truth, and 
refcue religion from fuperftition and ido^ 
latry. ''''" 

I'hat the divine interpofition is not 
contrary to our natural notions is evident 
fnom a common opinion, which prevailed 
in all ages and countries, that their foun- 
ders and legiflators had conferences with, 
anid* received inilru<9:ions from, foflie fu- 
perior being; whofe authority they pleaded 
for both their political and religious infti- 
tutibns. Thefe tieftimonies unbelievers , 
thoffc at leaft who affume to themfdves 
the venerable name of philofophers, would 
do well to confider before they difmifs 
Chriftianity in their ufual difingenuous 
manner, vvithout examining into its pre- 
tenfions, nay without even giving it a 
Bearing, upon' the bare fuppofition that a 
revelation from God is at b eft incredible 
if not impoffible. Its pretenfions • furely 
entitle it to more civility 'and refpedt. 


S E R M O N I. 15^ 

* tV it bout tontroverfy great is the fnyfiery of 
godlinefs :'■ great are the bleffings which it 
promires, great the knowled'ge which it 
profefTes to teach, the knowledge of God" 
and of ourfelves, the eternal principles of 
truth, the duties fefuiting from thofe prin- 
ciples, and the proper motives and enrou- 
ragements to enforce thofe duties. It ten- 
ders to loft mankind, who lay under' tile 
breach and yet tinder the bond of the 
covenant of works, terms of reconcilia- 
tion, pardon, and peace: God''s,law was 
broken, his will difobeyed, his name dif- 
honoured; and y«t he propitiates, he ex- 
piates our fin« againft himfelf, he receives 
us into favour again, he grants o^s his word" 
to direfl: and his grace to affiil us in the 
performance of our duty, which perform- 
ance he promifes to reward with eternal 
happinefs in a better 'world. I>0(3:rines 
thefe of no mean and trivial importani^e, 
of no inferior and fubordinate kind j to 
which Chriftianity moreover demands our 
attention for the fake, and under the au- 
thority, of the everlafting God who difl;at- 
^d and his eternal fon wh9 publifliedthem. 

g I T/*. iii. 16. 


i6 S E R M O N I. 

Under fuch fandlion no wonder that it 
aflumes the emphatical name of truth ; 
that it is fliled by way of eminence '' ties 
word of trutht ' the truth of God\ that 
the belief and the knowledge of it are 
called , " the belief and the ' knowledge of the 
truth y that they who profefs it are faid 
'^ to be of the truths and they that rejed it 
° not to believe, " not to obey the truth. 
Claims of fo high a nature and of fo great 
importance to nian, made fo ferioufly, de- 
ferve furely to be ferioufly confidered and 
carefully examined -, left haply, through our ' 
wilful negledt and indifference, we] be 
found to flight God's gifts, fufpedt his 
goodnefs, call, his truth and of courfe all. 
his eflTential perfedions into queftion j for 
whofoever defpifes a law cafts diflionour 
upon the authority that enjoins it. 

How juftly Chrijiianity appropriates to 
itfelf the title of truth cannot but appear 
to every unprejudiced mind that confiders 

•■ Ephef. i. '3, &c. ' Rom. iii. 7, &c. * z Thejal. ii. 1 3. 
1 ■! Tim. ii. 4, &c. ■" I John-yii. 19. » 2 Thef. ii. iz. 
" Rom. ii. 8. 


S E R M O N I. \y 

it in oppofitioQ to both the faliliood of 
faganifm and to the promifes and fbadows 
of judaifm- With regard to the pagan re- 
ligion (if an ill-contrived texture of in- 
conliftent impoftures can be called by fo 
facred. a name) little pains need be taken 
to ihew the vanity and the folly of it> 
fince even ' from among thofe who pro- 
fefled it there are not wanting men, and; 
thofe of fuperior knowledge and uiider- 
ftanding, who teftify their diflike and con- 
tenipt of thofe ridiculous . and beaftly 
fables upon which their theology and 
worfhip depended. They diffembled indeed 
and outwardly- complied out of policy and 
fear -, or, if a higher motive may be af- 
figned for their compliance % it was by no 
means (as they themfelves acknowledged) , 
an opinion that it was acceptable to the 

f HaEC et dicuntur et cre4untur ftultiffime, et plena funt 
futUitatis fummxque levitatis. Cicer. de nat. Deor. I. z. 

1 Qu£ omnia fapieits fervabit Unqaam legibus juiTa noa 
tanquam diis grata. Seneca apud jfuguji. de civit. Dei. 1. 
6, 10. 

Retmetur autem et ad opinionem vulgi et ad magnas 
utilitatjes reipublicse mos, religio, difciplina, jus augurum, 
collegii aufloritas. deer, de divin, 1. z. AeV ^v^iwat rk 
lis i(iith Kekv^ti/Sfite. — Tm^hien i^ «3«» t» '%'^X'lf Kp tiitm 
Tlfif/etrfiitx.- Celf. afudOri^. 1. 5. 

B deity. 

i8 S £ R M O N I. 

deity, but only political interefl: and a re- 
fped; which they thought due to the lawsf 
and cuftoms of their country. It feems 
indeed of all paradoxes the leaft recon- 
cileable to the human mind, how man not 
totally divefted of reafon could believe in 
and pay adoration to fuch a ridiculous and 
contemptible rabble of deities, terreftrial 
and infernal as well as celeftial, male and 
female, guilty of fornication, adirlteryj,. 
inceft, and every unnatural luft j thieves, 
drunkards, murderers^ parricides : nay 
fome worfhipped even brute beafts of the 
the lowejl and vileil kind, things without 
life, without being ; the produce of their 
gardens, the difeafes of their bodies, the 
paffions and vices of their minds. Thefe 
they numbered amoag things venerable 
and divine ; to thefe they dedicated tem- 
ples, and offered facrifices with fuch fu- 
perftitious devotion, fuch filthy and inhu- , 
man rites, as were fuitable to the objedts of,, 
their worflaip.. From fuch unfeemly no- 
tions what glory to God or benefit to 
man could accrue ? Such opinions and 
pradlices refpedting religion (one of the 
firft principles of which is to imitate the 


S E R M O N L 19 

deity) muft neeeffarily produce fimilar 
opinions and practices with regard to mo->- 
rality : and that this waS really the cafe, 
is abundantly evinced by their own wri- 
ters, fuch in particular as lived about the 
beginning of Chriftianity j whofe accounts 
of the horrid depravation of manners bear 
ample teftimony to that fhocking catalogue 
of abominable vices, with which the gen- 
tiles are charged by St. Paul in the begin- 
ning of his epiftle to the Romans. Some 
indeed of the philofophers were not en- 
tirely ignorant of the leading principles of 
natural religion i yet what did all their 
ftudies, all their enquiries and.difputations 
produce except uncertainty, diflatisfailion, 
and perplexity j inftead of full convidtion, 
fome faint conjediure j in the room of 
folid perruafion,-4infteady and irreconcile- 
able variety of opinion ? Varro who was 
called the wifeft of the Romans, reckons 
up (as he is quoted by ' St. Aujiin) two 
hundred and eighty eight different fenti- 
ments concerning happinefs, and ' 'Themif- 
tius tells the emperor Valem, that there 

' De civit. Dei. 1. 19. t. ' Sezmett. 1. 6. 36. 

B 2 were 

20 SERMON!. 

were above three hundred jarnng opinions 
among the philofbphers of Greece ; np 
wonder th^refpre that ' Maximm "Tyrks 
acknowledges himfelf at a lofs which q£ 
the fchools to follow, under which of the 
innumerable fedts of philofophers to enlift. 
Being fcholars of nature only, their know* 
ledge could reach no farther than what 
nature taught : fo far therefore were they 
from having a perfed: rule of life, an en- 
tire fyftem of eitheii' divinity or morAfi 
that '* " about thefe things neither naticra 
" agreed with nation, nor city with city, 
** nor family with family, nor one man 
" with another, nor any one with him- 
« felf." 

What a different fcene does the go^el 
of Chriji exhibit ! God has impreffed upon 
it lignatures of himfelf, charafters that 
plainly evince its divine origin. 'V\it fpe- 
culati'oe part reprefents God to us as a 
being abfolutely free from all imperfec- 

* Dijert. 1$. Edit. Oxon. which concludes with thefe re- 
markable words Jf«f T« o-^S^®' T Sfjifiitim' sj«f T» vfUS^ ? 

" ///. Difert. I. 

tions . 

IS E R M OiN I. 2jt 

tions and p©fle0ed-,Qfj ^|l;perfei3ipns what- 
Toever in the bigheil degree ; it afcriKes to 
him every thing that is great ancj glorious, 
good and amiable. The, worfhip it ipn^ 
'joins is fuitabi^ to the idea of fp qxcpllfjn^ 
and pnre a deity : it cpnfifts of , an awful 
fenfe of his majefly and pur depeadence 
upon him, love of his , perfedlions, faith 
in his veracity;' gratitude, for his benefits, 
recourfe to his goodnefs, frequent medita- 
tions upon him, communion with him 
and an inv?ard defire to pjeafe him. TThefe 
jhings are required to b? performed, by 
U6 with fervency m4 zeal, with reverence, 
humility, and fincerjty.— "" Go^ is a fpirit^ 
and they thai iwrfiiip kWi *0^''^.orjhip him 
in fpirit Mdin'.tif^;^k.' With this fuperior 
excellence of tbe./peculative pajrtrof pur 
religion the /r<z<Siif«/ffn,tireJy agrees. It^ 
is not, like the, moi;aUty taugl^t, jn the 
fehools of the he»th&itf>: vfs^t up Qi ^reds 
and patche^, modelild according to the 
difenoit genius ahd irttigreft of different 
ftates and ages, furnifhing in one century 
perhaps one truth and in agiojher century 

" John iv. 34. 

B % another 

22 ^ E R M O N I. 

another truth: It is one fimple, uniform, 
and perfeft rule of life j built -upon the 
mod folid foundation, the autbotity: of 
God and our obedience to his wiU j it is 
fuited to all tinies and all places, produc- 
tive of the univerfal good of every human 
fociety. The lavsrs which it enjoins pro- 
ceed not from mere power and authority, 
biit are evidently ads of wifdom and 
goodnefs. There is no precept delivered, 
no duty recommended, but what is highly 
rational- and ufeful, worthy of God: and 
beneficial to man j from the obfervance of 
them will naturally refult peace and tran^ 
quillity of mind, good will from all men^ 
and the favour and acceptance ^of God j 
who to our fincere though imperfed obe-^ 
diehce has been moreover gracioully pleaf- 
cdi to annex the glorious promife of 7'oyj, 
fuch * as^ eye hks notfeen, ear kemd, -neither 
hath it entered into the- heart of man to con-i 
ceive.^^ Thefe doftrines are peculiar i to 
Chriftiafiity i ■ philolophy never -t taught 
them in her fdhools, neither are they to 
he read in the book of nature ; for, after 

' I Cor, ii. 9.' 


S E R M O N I. 23 

all the glorious things which are fpoken 
of reafon, it never furniflied mankind with 
more than a b^re furmife of futurity, a 
feeble hope of that ^ m(^ dejirable thing 
which Seneca obferv<es their great men pro-* 
mifed, but could not prove: It is revelation 
alone that can improve conjedure into 
knowledgCj and doubt into certainty. 

Thus does the gojpel of Chriji . in oppo- 
sition to paganifm claim the title of truth 
on account of the intrinfic excellence and 
fublimity of its dddtrines. It moreover 
challenges it with refpeft to thtjewi/b re- 
ligion ; it is the body of its Shadows, the 
fubftanc^ of its figures, the completion of 
its promifes. And here a new fcene opens, 
a comptehenfive view of a yaft, uniform, 
and confiftent plan j which could not be 
carried on under different difpenfatibns 
for fuch a length of time, with the utmoft 
analogy and harmony, by any thing lefs 
than the fore-knowledge and providence 
of God. Every part of the' raofaical 

y Credebamtopinionlbus magnorum virorum rem gratif- 
Jitnatn prptnittentium magis quam pnobantium. SentC' Ep' 
102. See Whitby upon z Tim. i. lOi 

B 4 occonomy 

?i4 S E R M O N L 

oceondmy was typical of that more pcrfed 
one, which was to be eftabliftied when ''the 
Lard would make a neno covenant with the 
houfe of Ifrael, when * the figures for the 
time then prefent, " the Jhadoii>s of things- to 
come, were to have their accompliflbmenfin 
Chriji, the true ark ' in whom dwelleth all 
the fulnefs of the godhead bodily ^ as it did 
fymbolically in the tabernacle and after- 
wards in the temple^ the true mercy-feat ^ 
through which God Jhews himfelf gracious' to 
his people 'i the true pafchal lamb", whoje 
blood protests us- from the dejlroying angel; 
the true piacular victim ', whom' God hath 
fet forth to be 4 propitiation for the remiffim 
qffnsi the true h'igh ipvh^^, who having 
obtained an eternal redemption t is not entered 
into the holy places made with hands which 
are the figures of the true t but into heaven it - 
felf now to appedpinthefrefefice of God for 
us. Thefe are but few out of the num- 
berfefs typical analogies which might be 
produced; yet fufHpient, I truft, to' fhew 
ihat the foundations of the ^ofpel were 

* Jir. 31.31. ■ Ueh. viii. g. •> Cohff. ii, 17, 

Colef\\: 9. ■• Bxod. 20, &c. '/Exod. 12. 

ii. 25. t Hei. ix. 12, 24. 


S E R M ON I. 25 

laid in th« law. '' Every part of the ritUal 
worfliip bore an emblematical relation to 
the fpiritual one which was to fucceed it j 
every external difpenfation of Providence 
to the Jews had a myftical refpedt to the 
everlafting covenant Avith all nations, and 
the whole people was figurative of the 
fpiritual 2/?*rf(?/ or the church of the Mef- 
f,aby who was fhadowed forth to them 
under types and ceremonies ; the amazing 
correfpondeney of which with that dif- 
^enfation; which they prefigured fo many 
ages before its appearance, clearly dembn- 
ftrates them to have been the effedt not df 
chance but of wifdom power and fore- 
fight, and fully ratifies and confirms the 
veracity of God ' niohofe promifes in Chpjl 
are feet and dinen. * 

Here let us paufe awhile to admire how 
God is pleafed to accommodate the ope- 
rations of his grate to the courfe of nature. 
Nothing arrives to its full age and maturity 
but by gentle fuccefHve degrees. Even man 
himfelf, the Lord of the creation, comes 

* See Bfxri^art^i Sermont at Boylii Le&ure. 
' Z Cor. i. 20. 


26 S E R M O N I. 

on flowjy to his pcrfeiStiop through the im- 
becillity of childhood and the defeats of 
youth. Analogous to this order of things 
he brought us to the day-light of. the gof- 
pel through the dark night of paganifm 
and the twilight of the law. When he took 
his church from under the hand of nature, 
he trained and tutored it in elements fitted 
for a. weak capacity ; elements of a fenfible 
aijd material nature, yet fo admirably con- 
trived as to be emblematical of that true 
fpiritual doctrine, the fplendpr of which 
being too ftrong for its infancy was veiled 
at firfl; under the cloud of the mofaical ad- 
miniftration, but in fulnefs of time brought 
to light, by the gofpel. -. 

'' It is an 6bje6tion as old as the time of 
Celfus (which, however falfe and repeatedly 
fliewn to be fuch, has yet never failed to 
be urged with great confidence by all his 
fucceflbrs in infidelity) that Chriftianity 
deba,rs its profefTors from all enquiries about 
religious truths, and demands of them a 
full and implicit afifeht. without a previous 


S E R M-O N I. fi7 

examination of the ground on which they 
are to build that affent. But furely never 
was objedion raifed upon fo flight a foun- 
dation. Chriftianity with a candour pecu- 
liar to itfelf earneftly folicits a trial at the 
b'ar of reafon, invites and exhorts every man, 
before he embraces its dodlrines, fairly and 
impartially to examine its pretenfions.'Pro-D^ 
aUifjings, fays St, Fault holdfaji that which, 
is good. M^iy^hen St. John warns us againfl: 
"believing every fpirit, and bids us '^try the 
fpirits nsAeth^r they are of God, does he not 
plainly recommend the ufe of our own un- 
derftandingagainft a blind implicit belief? 
Is not the fame advice fairly implied ih the 
commendation given to t|ie Befeans ior 
" fearching the fcriptures arid enquiring into 
the truth of what the apoftles preached ? 
And does not our Saviour bimfelf inculcate 
the fame dodlrine when he appeals to the 
judgement of his adverfaries, " Why do ye 
not even of yourfehes judge -what is right? 

Falfihood indeed and error delight iri 
darknefsi. there is fomething in theni fo 

^Thef.v.zi, "" I J?/. jv. I, »\//(S?j xvii. 1 1 • 

Luke xii. 57. ; 



difguftful and contemptible that they mvA 
keep at a diftance, out of dght, if they 
mean to acquire love or reverence. Hcnee 
the myfteries of the heathen were fur- 
rounded on all fides by a thick impenetra- 
ble veil : they were practiced in the night; 
none were admitted to them but under a 
folemn and dreadful oath of fecrecy ; who- 
ever difclofed any part of them was excJudv 
ed from all the rights and benefits of civil 
focicty, he was apprehended as a public 
offender and fuffered death. On the coni* 
trary nothing difhonours truth Ca much as 
concealment ; the more it is feen the more 
awful and lovely it appears; its tabernacU 
is placed in the fun, it never looks fo glori- 
ous as when it ihities in. full ipriefidian iplen- 
dor. While therefore the founders and; difi- 
penfers of fabulous religions and abfurd 
Worfhip cover them under filence and ob^- 
fcurity, the Gofpel in ftriidfc oonforinity to 
its character profeffedly reveals myflsries ; 
Chriji^ fo far from enjoining fecrecy to his 
apoftIes,exhorts them to a freepcofcflaon and 
Open publication of his dodrincs., ^.What 

P ' Matt, X. 27. 

S E R M O N I. 29 

I fay to you in darknefs, fpeak ye in the Ught ; 
i. t. the dodtrines which I teach you in 
parables do ye publicly explain and ex- 
pound. Whut ye bear in the ear, that preach 
ye- upon the houfe-tops ; i. e. what I more 
privately impart to you, do ye courageoufly 
publifh and proclaim to all the world. This 
fair and candid proceeding ought, one 
would imagine, to procure at leaft a fa- 
vourable hearing i and how little Chrif- 
tJanity declines, n<ay how truly it afFed:s 
and courts, tlxe verdid: of unbiailed reafon 
might juftly be collected (were the more 
dired: proofs we have juft- urged wanting) 
from its making its appearance in the 
brighteft day jof human knowledge. Had 
it been confcious of its own weaknefs, it 
wcrald not thus boldly have entered the 
lifts againft the prejudices of mankind, 
when the great improvement and increafe 
of all kinds of literature had excited a 
noble fpirit of curiofity, which not gnly 
prompted men to enquire after, but quali- 
fied them to underiland and examine truth 
and deted fraud and impofture. But "in 
this as well as other refped:s ' wifdom has 

' Matth, xi. 19. 


50 S E R M O N L 

been jujiijied of her children. * Wh'cn the 
books written by Numa the fathet of the 
Roman religion, and by him ordered to be 
buried under ground, were accidentally 
found four hundred years after; his motives 
for the religious eftablifhment, which he 
impofed upon the credulity of a rude illite- 
rate nation, appeared to a more enlightened 
age fo trivial and frivolous, . that they were 
burned by a public decree of the fenate : 
The impojiure of Mahomet as well as the 
pagan idolatry arofe in times of general cor- 
ruption ignorance, and barbarifm ; but 
Chrijiianity, the iyftem of that worftiip 
which comes recommended with the cha- 
rafter of truth, has conftantly kept pace 
with knowledge ; it appeared when the 
fciences were arrived at their higheft per- 
fedlion, grew by the aids of learning, has 
decayed and revived with it j it has con- 
ftantly appealed to reafon, and from every 
trial upon that teft has as conftantly acquir- 
ed frefti ftrength, credit, and authority. 

This confidence, as has been obferved, is 
peculiar to Chriftianity, and perfedlly agree- 

' P'arro apud Auguji. de civit. Dei vii. 24. 



dble to the charadter of truth ; which, like 
its fymbol in the material world, chearfuUy 
fpreading its rays over the whole univerfe 
is "hid from none but thofe who wilfully 
(hut their eyes againft it. But, left too 
great a torrent of light immediately fuc* 
deeding thick darknefs might opprefs the 
intelledbual figjbt, the wifdom and the good- 
nefs of God previoufly prepared mankind 
for that gracious difpenfation which he in- 
tended them, and made the knowledge of 
the law the forerunner of the knowledge 
of the gofpel even among the gentiles. ' 
The books of the old teftament, in which 
the new is virtually involved, being ^not 
without the condudt of providence) tranf- 
lated fome ages before into Greek the then 
general language, the treafures of ihcjewiJJy 
and confequcntly the chrijlian religion were 
laid open to other nations as well as the. 
Jews, and gradually difpofed them the more 
readily to receive that great prophet and 
faviour of mankind j who had been fo of- 
ten and fo plainly foretold in prophecies, 
which they themfelves knew to have been 

? See unlvtrfal hijlory V. lo. p. 244. 


32 S E R M O N I. 

written many centuries before their com- 

And now let the infidel (who exclainis: 
againft chriftianity as requiring a ground--; 
lefs faith and obtruding itfelf upon men in 
the dark) fearch the records of antiquity 
and difcover, if be can, another religion 
that contains doftrines equ'aliy worthy of 
God, precepts equally conducive to the 
good of man ; a religion, that confiding in 
the merits of its caufe invites men to make 
ufe of their beft underftanding ; a religbn, 
that appeals to the principles of another 
religion then in being in all appearance to- 
tally different from itfelf; yet when fur- 
veyed together with it forming a beautiful, 
regular, and compleat fyftem, carried on 
through fuccefiive ages and periods with 
an analogy furprifingly harmonious and 
uniform : a religion moreover, that, to re- 
move all fufpicion of impofture, commu- 
nicates the knowledge of the law on which 
it is founded fome hundred years before its 
appearance, and at laft fully difcovers itfelf 
at a time when the iritelledual improve- 
ments of mankind enable them thoroughly 


SERMON 1. 33 

to examine and judge of the truth of its 

Till this is done (and that it cannot be 
done we may fairly infer from its having 
never been attempted) we cannot forego 
the exclufive claim which Chriftianity has , 
to the facred name of trutht and of courfe 
to our ferious, diligent, and impartial atten- 
tion, even upon thefe prefumptive proofs 
of its proceeding from God. 

That it did really proceed from God we 
have, I truft, good and fufEcient evidence ; 
and this withliis affiftance fhall be thefub- 
jedt of the following difcourfe. 

{ 35 ] 


R o M. 3C. 14, 15. 

Ho'UD fi,^ ibey call on him in fo^ttf $^^ 
i^fl^e not belie^vedf ^nd ho'ijo Jh(tU tk^y jb^-^ 
If eve in him pf^hom tkfl/ k^VS pot M^.4^ 
^^ Moiw Jkall fh^ hear mifhpuf 
. prec^cher^ and km JhfiVl t^y .§rm^» J^-^ 
jCept they k^fent § 

AL T H Q U G H tfee Argvtfflenfs ^o^ 
<i}ic§<i in th^s ,pf§fifding difcft«ijf|^ 

jju^ltfy tUe claim !(?icfec|i the gfii^el Rjfikies 
tx) !^e ,|itje of jtrpthi yet a^ t^iflt kJRd qF 
reafoning, which ^ri|$:KCrPi|i ih^ ii^tiir^e.^d 
iiitriniic excellence of a dodirine, is by 
C 2 others 

36 S E R M O N II. 

others looked upon as inconclufive ; I think 
it not improper (in order to obviate all 
objedtions) to enquire into fome at lead of 
the external evidence, by which this inters 
nal one is fupported. And in truth, after 
all that has been faid in favour of each df 
thefe methods, they feem to me to ftand 
mutually in need of each other's affiftance. 
A revelation oppofite to the principles of 
nature and the reafon of things is a con- 
tradidion in terms ; and therefore no ex- 
ternal evidence whatfoever can eftablifh 
the divinity of a religion, which carries 
within it fueh unqiieftionable proofs of a 
different origin J neither are the interior 
rtiarks of truth> ^ though neceflary and in- 
feparable charadlerS, abfolute and infal- 
lible «' proofs of an immediate revelation. 
But when both confpire together ; when 
to the teftimony, which a religion itfdf 
bears to its"6wn authority, is added every 
external one which circumftances require, 
fupported by fuch proofs as the nature of 
the thing will, admit, nothing but obftina- 
cy can withold its .afleht, fcepticifm be- 
comes folly, incredulity a fin. 


S E R M O N 11. n 

i As therefore not only the principles, and 
dodtrines of ; the Chriftian divinity,,, but 
likewife the external proofs by which they 
arc confirmed, are contained in the books 
of the old and nens} tejlament ; I flatter my- 
felf I cannot better engage your atten);ion, 
or more faithfully difcharge the truft re- 
pofed in me, than by firft eftablifliing the 
truth and authority of the fcriptures ; be- 
caufe upon them the truth and authority 
of our holy religion ultimately depend: 
for .the authenticity of. the hiftory being 
acknowledged, and the fadts which are 
therein recorded being granted, the tefti- 
mony of miracles and prophecies joined to 
the excellence of the doSlrines is a clear and 
compleat demonftration of our Saviour's 
divine commiflion j by them God attefts 
the whole oeconomy of grace to be an 
immediate revelation from heaven as cer- 
tainly as that he cannot lie or give his ap- 
probation to a lie. 

Before I enter upon particular proofs, I 
beg leave to remind you that % as the idea 

" See f age ii. 

C 3 of 

§8 S E R M O N II. 

of a God conftantly carries with it the 
idea of fome fervice or worfliip due to 
him, fo does it (according to my apprei 
henfions) heceflarily fuppofe a revelation* 
a dedafatibh from God of what fervice 
and Worfhip will be acceptable to him; 
Knovvledgd muft in the courfe of things 
ever precede obedience ; and therefore iri 
every well-regulated ftate the laW is &U 
ways promulged before the obfervance of 
it is required. The will of God is the 
only law for pur belief and pradice ; for 
Who is to prefcribe where God is concern- 
fed, exfeept God himfelf ? But '' wh bath 
known the mind of the Lord, or ivh'o hath 
'been his counfellor ? How fliali we attain 
kt the knowledge of his will, except from 
hinafelf and thofe to whom he has been 
pleafed to reveal it ? From this argument 
St. Ptiui in my text infers the neceffity of 
hiis miffion to preach the gofpel among the 
gentiles : it holds good in all cafes, aiid is 
a flrong prefumption in favour of the 
fcriptures -, for fuppofing a revelation ne- 
eefTary, Hvhere elfe are we to look for it ? 

*> Rom. XI. 34,.- 


s E R M o psr JJ. 39 

Where (k^l we find, I wiU not fgy 9- (fet- 
ter but, another declaratioa pf the will pf 
God except in thpf? volumes which we 
receive as the word pf God ? Is not there-r 
foce the conduft of a wilfijl pbfitinate infi^ 
del nearly fiqiilar to th^t pf a mariner j 
who in a dark tempeftup^s .njght, withput 
either compafs or pilot, fliould peryerfejy 
prefer ^e perils of an unknown fea t^ the 
iecurity pf the only port tjiat offers itfelf. 

Byt frpni this ge^en^l argument |et us 
dfifcend to particulars j pr^emifing firft, 
lib^t there is fuch a connexion and r^ktipn 
between the two tgftaments, that the f^njj? 
proofs illuftrate and confirni both ; the 
new teftament is founded on th^e f/^, the 
eJd acePi0pJifhe.d in the new -, the truth Pf 
the ppe \mmg .allowed* the truth, of the 
other follows of courfe^ 

The firft evidence I fhall produce in 
favour oS the fcriptures is thf ir antiquity. 
Of this argument the firft.applogifts for 
Chriftianity , make frequent life againfl: 
their pagan adverfe|".ies j and with great 
propriety, for amongft them the poft ^n- 
:•*;, C 4 cient 

43 S E R M O N II. 

cient afts were reckoned the moft authen- 
tic. ''Apud vos qmque (fays Tertullian) 
religionis eji inftar Jidem de temparibus affire^ 
re. We can (fays ^ Cvc&to) fupport this opi- 
nion, the immortality of the foul, by the ' 
authority of the beji writers, which in all 
cafes ought to have and has great weight, 
but principally by that of all antiquity ; which, 
the nearer it approached to the origin of 
things and the divine offspring, the better 
probably did it difcern the truth. In this, as 
in almoft every part of his philofophy, he 
copies .from his grecian mafter the atticiz- 
ing Mofes, as " Numenius ftiles Plato -, who 
in his Philebus fpeaking, as many learned 
interpreters think, of an unity and plura- 
lity in the godhead makes ufe of the fame 
authority; the ancients, fays he,- who were 
better than us, and dwelt nearer to the 

' Apol. c. g. 
, * Aufldrlbus ad iftam fententiam— uti optimis poiTumus 
— et primum quidem omni antiquttate : qua; quo propius 
aberat ab Ortu et divina progenie hoc melius ea fortaiTe 
qu£e erant vera cernebat. Tufc. ^^efl, i. iz. Plato in his 
Timieus calls the firft men the offspring and the children of the 

as nAacToi « Murw «T?<xi^«ii Clem. Alex. Strotm 1. I. Vide 
Sttid. in voce Nk/»h'h©-^ 


S E R M O N II. 41 

Gods, have tranfmitted down this tradition. 
The force of this reafoning is tacitly ac- 
knowledged by that univerfal confent, 
with which all mankind feem to confpire 
in paying refped: and reverence to antiqui- 
ty. And to this inartificial argument, 
reafon readily fufcribes j for truth is the 
eldeft born of heaven, evidently and of 
neceflity prior to falfliood ; becaufe falf- 
hood is nothing elfe but a corruption of 
the truth : and therefore ^ among the cha- 
radters and criteria of heavenly writings 
antiquity defervedly has its place; for from 
thence they acquire much dignity and au- 
thority above all hurtian books and re- 
cords,- \ which (as has been fully proved 
by a learned writer of our own) borrowed 
all their choiceft notions and contempla- 
tions as well natural and moral as divine 
from the facred oracles, in that refpedt 
bearing teftimony to the truth of them' -, 
and, where, they- dijSer, it is but juft to 
give credit to the elder wha drew their 
doctrines from the fountain-head. 

' Bockart's Phaleg. 

* See Galii Court of the gentlkt. 


42 S E R M O N II. 

I ihail not p^y fo bad a compliment to 
this audience as to attempt a laboured 
proof of the antiquity of Mofes : he was 
in fafb prior to moft of the fabulous dei- 
ties i and having in his youth converfed 
with men who were cotemporaries with 
^ofeptit perhaps with Jacob, might have 
had thofe fadts, which he was not an eye 
witnefs of himfelf, tranfmitte^J by a regia* 
lar chain of traditions connected but by 
very few links with the inhabitants of the 
antediluvian world. The matter of his 
hiftory, and the manner in which it is re- 
corded, fuit entirely with this antiquity*. 
There is no iaccount in any other writer 
of the creation or the fall of man j fome- 
thihg indeed like the fall is here and there 
obfcurely hinted j but Mofes alone gives us 
the hiftory and the caufe of it. He alon^ 
teaches us the age of the world, the ori- 
gin and difperifion of mankind, the begin- 
ning and fucceilion of kingdoms. This 
account is embelliflied with no flaew oi 
learning j it is written with a majeftic fe- 
curity, fliort and plain ; as we may well 
fuppofe the firft memoirs to have been, 

, whilft 


xvhiift teligioH Was Wifdom, fimple truth 
philofophy J and therefore '' 31z//^, a man 
Welt verfed in all kinds of human litera- 
ture, ihgetiuoufly ackno\/irledges that one 
of the chief reafonS of his embracing the 
chriftian religion Was the rational account 
life there met with of the creation of all 
thmgS. Varrd confeffes the firft period of 
profane hiftory to be entirely unknown, 
and thfe feeond fabulous ; thofe therefore 
atnong the heathens, who treat of primi- 
tive antiquity, conceal their ignorance un- 
der the fpeciotis veil of myftical allego- 
ries ; and fo efFedtually envelop themfeives 
within an infinite multitude of' incoherent 
gefieratioft's, that it is ittiptJffible for the 
niOft fagaciOUs itit^rpreter to trace either 
their hiftory or philofophy. But with 
Afo/fe there is nothing unknown or fabu- 
lous ; he is every where clear and confif- 
tent, particularly fpecifies every minute 
eircumftance as Well known and fre'fti iii 
his memory, and conne<^ all'the remark- 
able periods but by a very few links ; 
which oh account bf the long lives of the 

* Orat. centra Grac. c. 46. 


44 S E R M O N II. 

patriarchs touch each- other, and made it 
very eafy for his cotemporaries to have 
deteded him, if in fads fo recent and fo 
arranged he had been guilty of any falf- 
hood. Even in thofe books which were 
written after the Hebrew volumes had been 
tranflated into Greek, and which treat of 
the Egyptian, C&aldean, znd P/icenician anti- 
quities, you have nothing but a heap of 
undigefted fables and confufed traditions 
for fome ages fubfequent to Mojes him- 
felf ; and yet the motive of their authors 
evidently was to prove, in contradidion to, 
Mofes, that the Jews were by no means fu- 
perior in point of age or origin to their 
refpedive nations j a plain proof of the 
refped which men in general have for an- 
tiquity, and how ftrongly , they conned it 
with the idea of dignity and reverence. 

The argument from antiquity acquires a 
very coniiderable degree of ftrength, when 
joined to that of a perpetual and uninterrupt* 
ed tradition. To have been in quiet poflef- 
fion fo long is no mean prefumptive proof 
in favour of the poffeflbr. The authenti- 
city and authority of the old tejldment has 



been allowed by the Chrijiidns for near 
two thoufand years j and if we afcend 
higher we fhall find the Jews univerfally 
and without any chafm acknowledging it 
for above fourteen hundred years more. 
Now two people, entirely differing in other 
I'efpedts, could not poffibly have entered- 
into a combination j the appeal therefore, 
which they both make to Mofes and the 
prophets, not only prefuppofes but is a con- 
firmation of their unqueftioned veracity. 
' When the defcendants of yacob left 
Egyptj the men exclufive of the women 
and children amounted to zhov&^x- hun- 
dred thoufand : they were all witneffeS of 
the fadts recorded in four of the books 
written by Mofes : credible, is it pof- 
fible, that fo many perforis could, againfl 
the teftimony of their fenfes, believe the 
account of numberlefs miracles faid to 
have been performed, and in confequence 
of that belief fubmit to a rigorous and 
painful law, every part of which was im- 
preffed with characilers of feverity and fer- 
vitude ? Their ceremonies and folemn fef^ 

* Exod. xii. 37. Ntimli. I. 46. 


45 S E R M O N 11. 

tivals, though typically looking forwards 
to their Jpiritual accoraplifhment yet, hqd 
a retrofpe4t to former temporal deliver- 
ances ; and having been inftituted in m^- 
mory of them, bore a conftant and un- 
biaffed teftinripny to the truth of the hifto- 
rian, Thefe vs^ere flridly enjoined under, 
heavy penalities j and * a,! feveral of thcfn 
all the males were obliged tp leave their 
affairs, their homes, and families, and ap-r 
pear from every part of jhe kingdoni be- 
fore the Lord at J^rufakm. Would, a pep- 
ple, famous for obftinacy and rebellion, 
have fubmitted for fo long a time ^s they 
did to ithe bondage of a law, the obierv- 
ance of which was attended with fo much 
inconvenience, if they had not been 
thoroughly convinced of the reality of 
thoife tranf^<Sljons which the lefiivals were 
^pojbated to commemorate ? 

From the time isf-Mo/J-j d©wsnwa?diS:the 
hiftory is (if poffible) ftijl •carried on with 
greater pyecifion and aceviraey through the 

^ At the three grand feftivals, the paffowr, tkefeaft of 
the lueeks, and lAxfeafi of the tgber^/uk. Pe^er. xvi. 1 6, 



feVeral fuceeffions of Ju^g^s an*d iingSt the 
length of their refpedtive governxrients af- 
certained, Ind the chronology every where 
fettled till the Babylonijh captivity j their 
deliverance from' which, and re-fettlcment 
in yudea, are particularly defcribed by 
Ezra^ an eyfe witnefs of every circumAance, 
a writer of an unimpeached chsxz&j&ii 
and, though the laft in the "Jewi/h canoix, 
cotemporary with Herodotus the father of 
Grecmn hiftory : a remarkable circum- 
ftance,.iwhich iixes beyond all diipute the 
right which the atfits and monuments o£ 
the &M tfjimnenf have to fuperior antiqui- 
ty i 4nd» when joined with anbther ftill 
more irefiQ^fkable eircumftance, may jufj 
tify a conjecture that it was not without 
the appointment of providence, that in 
hijioiricdi as weU as r^%a?ai truths ^11 na- 
tions lighted their candJe. at the fire of 
the fanftuary. i^or iurely it was owing 
to fo«neWh!at smore than cbance, that, cer- 
tainty ^uld difdaixt to dwell in other 
lands till it had been banifhed / from y^ 
dea, €ha(t all th€ famdijis «:ppchis, of other 
peQ|)ile- though entirely ttneoiaaefiied (fuch 
as the eera i^ Nabom^r^ the oipj^iads of 


48 S E R M O N II. 

Greece, and the foundation of Rome) fliould 
all begin at the fame time j and that time 
be the period marked out for the deftruc- 
tion of the jewifli nation j when Qod 
was pleafed to raife up two mighty em- 
pires to be his inftruments for the punill^-i 
ment of his own people, and the over- 
throw of the kingdoms of Ifrael and 

But to return. — We have the fame ««/-• 
lierjdl and uninterrupted tradition iox the 
authenticity of the new tejlament ; and if 
the:, validity of this evidence is called in 
queftion there is an end of public faith, 
human converfe muft fubfift without hu- 
man confidence. We have received thefe 
facred volumes from our forefathers, they 
from theirs, and fo on backwards in a 
continued feries up to thofe who lived in 
the time of the Afofiles^ who heard them 
deliver the fame dodrines, and kndw for 
certain that they publiflied them in thofe 
writings which go under their names. 
They are univerfally quoted by all the fa- 
thers without intermiflSon, and by them 
afiiigned to thofe authors whofe names they 


S E R M O N II. 49 

now bear. And what other authority, 
than the evidence of thofc who were co- 
tempofary with or lived) hear the times 
of the w/iter, and the perpetual confent 
of learn«d men, can we have for afligning 
particular books to particwtar authors ? 
But in this the &:ri|ytures ha've a very An- 
gular advantage over every other compo- 
fitiorv wbatfoever; tfaey can alledge fot 
their geniuinenets what no other voltalme^ 
harVe ths ha& preteoiien to, aju/^mijane-* 
thn : ttoey have been approved atid con- 
fi'rmed by men of the greateft learning in 
di^erent ages, fokmnlfy affembled! in more 
than a thxMifand provincial, and nodi kfe 
thAn twentfy general coranGils. 

Add %& this the confirmation which 
~ tfcey rtpeuVQ from tbt tejiiimny of ber.etia % 
the wrilSligS' of Mofst from the Samaritans 
krecdnci'Ieable feparatifts from the 'Jews :■ 
and the books of the new tefiament. from 
Jef^»ries of all ages and dsenomi'iiiatidns^ 
w1^@ have alwa^rs pretended the autjnority 
of fome part of fcripture for the dodrines 
which they endeavoitred to propa:gare. 

D We 

50 S E R M O N II. 

We have moreover the fuffrage of pro-! 
fejfed enemies. To require that the truth 
of Mofes'% hiftory fhould be attefted by 
heathen writers of the fame or nearly- the 
fame antiquity with himfelf would be ab- 
furd ; fmce we know that thofe who af- 
fedted to fix upon other nations the odious 
name of barbarians were in his time, and 
for feveral centuries afterwards, themfelves 
barbarians. ' Yet is his authority legible 
in the few fragnaents that remain of the 
earlieft writers, "^ and fubfequent hiftorians 
have fully confirmed it by the account 
which they give, though apparently mixed 
with depravation, of the hiftory of thfe 
yeivs and his legiflation.. With regard to 
the new'tejlament y it is an undeniable fad 
that neither Celfus, Porphyry, nor Julian^ 
nor any other who formerly wrote againft 
ChriJIianify, ever called in queftion the 
hiftories or the fadls recorded. If they 
had, the public regifiers of the fate would 
have convidted them, 'fbat Cbriji did per- 

' See among others Grotius de merit. 
"> Tacit. Juftin. Diodor. Strab. 



form thefe^ miracles » (fays " Jujiin Martyr ia 
his Apology to ^«/(j«;«a^ PimJ you may 
know from the records that were •written 
under Pilate's government. . To thefe com- 
mentaries kept in the public archives TVr- 
tuUian conftanlly and confidently appeals ; 
which he could not have done without a 
certainty of being expofed, if they had 
not been then extant, and the fadts which 
he advanced therein recorded. If any one 
notwithftanding ftiould think that the 
zealous apologias might quote at random, 
and throw the proof upon their adver- 
faries ; let him exanjine the accujations 
brought againll the primitive Chriftians, 
and their confejjions before pagan tribunals ; 
let him read carefully the account which 
"Pliny, appointed by trajan to take cog- 
nizance of them, gives the emperor of 
their religious aflemblies, their dodtrines, 
and civil pradlices ; he will in all of them 
find the fubftance of our holy religion, as 
contained in the evangelical and apoftoli- 
cal writings now extant. I fhould be 
endlefs were I to prdfecute this argument, 

" P. 93. Ed. Oxon. " Plitt. 1. 10. Ep. 97. 

D 2 and 

53 S E H M O N 11. 

and point out the different parts of the 
gofpel narratives, which are fo ftrongly 
confirmed both by pagan and jewifh hif- 
tories as neceffarily to enforce and demon- 
ftrate the truth of the reft* So powerful 
15 this evidence, and the force of it was 
fo fenfibly felt by JuUan, one of the bit- 
tereft enemies Chriftianity ever had, that 
•" he forbad its profeffors the ufe of profane 
literature j left their apologjifts fhould foil 
pagans at their own weapons, and confute 
them out of their own authors j * •mhich 
method (iays LaBantius), ^ learned men 
would take, falje religions would t^uickl)r 

I (hall not repeat what I have already 
faid concerning the esgeeBem^ of ihe doc- 
trines contained in the fcriptures j I barely 
now mention it for the fake of obferving, 

I « He finds fault with Qnprm for arguing with Demetriivm 
out of the fcriptures which he did not believe; and<}b- 
ferves that he ou^t ta have produced human teftitoojiies>-* 
thpfe bf^ philofoyhers and hift<wiaes-t-/»/y«« ^atiffmm. nfiir 
taretur ixU^eridus. And then ne adds— S» hbrtatu nojiro ao3i 
homines ac iiferti hucfi conferre ceeperiut—e'vanituras brenii n- 
ligionetftiifiis et octafmvmtji omnem fbibfifbialn nema dtiim- 
•verit, tailant. I. 5, c. 4< 



that it is by no meatis e^nfoHant to reafoa 
to fuppofe that fuch fublime and pure 
ideas of the nature, attributes, and wor^^ 
ihip of God Could have been invented by 
a people of fuch grofs intelledluals as th« 
Jews are well known to have been, famous 
for no kind of learning, utter ftrangcrs to 
philofophy and fcience, ever prone to fu- 
perftition and idolatry. Their religion 
they could not borrow from their Neigh- 
bours J for they were feparated frorti them 
by every diftinguifliing circumftance ; by 
language, rites, and manner of lifcj nay 
they were by their laws abfolutely forbid- 
den having any commerce with other na- 
tions ; If this had not been the caffe, yet 
how could they have learned the worfhip 
of the only true God from thofe, who 
paid adoration to as many deities as there 
were ftars in the firmament ? 

The fame obfervatjon may be made 
with regard to thofe by whom Chrj/iiamty 
was firft preached i they were mean and 
illiterate, fifhermen and publicws $ and 
yet there is more true fublimlty audi 
fcience in one page of their writings than 
3 m 

54 S E R M O N II. 

in all the volumes of all the philofophers 
put together. The precepts in the mean 
while and injunctions were harfh, and de- 
clared open war to all worldly pleafures j 
the profeffion was attended with great felf 
denial, perils, and fufFerings. As there- 
fore nothing lefs than the fpirit of wifdom 
and revelation could difcover to them a 
religion which exceeds all human capa- 
city, fo nothing but the invincible power 
of truth could induce them to adhere to 
it in fpite of public hatred and all kinds of 
injuries and tortures, which malice could 
invent and cruelty execute '. 

' When mention is made of their regard to tru^h, it 
would be unjufl to forget that ingenuous honefty with 
which they tranfmit to pofterity their owft faults and' dif- 
graces. Witnefs the account which they all give of the 
rebellions, idolatries, and apoftacies of their o\yn nation, 
the noble fincerity with which Mofes records the crimes of 
his progenitor Tjcvi, his ffter^s xaxxxXawvags, ,his hrather't'm- 
famous yielding to the IfraeUtes, and his eiun exclufion 
from the promifed land. The E-vangelifts with the fame 
candour relate at larjge the incredulity of. Thomas, the am- 
bition of the Jons of Zebedee, their difputes among them- 
felves, and their forfaking their mafter in the hour of dan-^ 
ger. Mattheixi .m^kes np fecret of his odious -profg^on ; St. 
Paul frequently mentions his own furious and bloody zeal; 
and St. Miirk (who is allowed to have written, his gofpel 
under the direftion, of St. Peter) takes ^particular notice 
with the. addition bf forne aggrstvating circumitances of 
that Spoftle's denial of Chriji. This ingenuity, of theirs 
cuts off all fufpicion of fraud and inilncerity in all other 


S E R M O N II. ss 

The wonderful harmony and comiediion 
of all the parts of fcripture is no mean 
proof of its authority and divine original. 
Other ' hijlorians differ continually froni 
each other : the errors of the firft writers 
are conftantly criticifed and corredled by 
fucceeding adventurers, and their miftakes 
are fure to meet with the fame treatment 
from thofe; who come after them: nay, 
how often does it happen that cotemporary 
writers cqntradift each other in relating a 
fa6t, which has happened in. their own 
time, within the fphere of their own 
knowledge ? But in the fcriptures there is 
no diflent or contradidlion j the writers o^ 
a great part of them lived at very different 
times, and iti diflant places, fo that there 
could be no confederacy or collufion i and 
yet their relations agree with and mutual- 
ly fupport each other. Not only human 
hijiorians but philofophers, even ,of the fame 
fchool, difagree about their tenets j where- 
as the two teftaments like the * two 
Cheruh look ftedfaftly towards each other, 

» Exo4- XXV. 20, 

P 4 and 

5^ S E R M O N II. 

and towards the mercy-feat which they 
encompafs J the holy writers, men of dif- 
ferent education, faculties, rank, and oc* 
cupations; prophets, evangelifts, apoftles; 
notwithftanding the diverfity of time and 
place, the varigty of matter confifting of 
myfteries of providence as well as myfte- 
ries oi fait hi yet alj concur uniformly in 
carrying on one confident plan of fuperna- 
tural d6»<Srinef, all conftantly propofe the 
fame invariable truth flowing from the 
fame fountain through different channels. 

As this wonderful .correfpondency can- 
not rationally be afcribed to any other 
caufe than their being all di<S£lted by the 
fame fpirit of wifdom and for^e-knowledge,- 
fq morepvf r is their (I may fay) miramiom 
pref^rv^tign a ftrong inftance of God's pro-, 
vidential care, a conftant fandion and-con- 
iirmation of the truth contained in them, 
cQntinu<s4 by him without intermiffion in 
all ages of the church. Whence comes it 
that whilft the hiftpries of mighty empires. 
are loft in the wafte of time, the very, 
names of their founders, conquerors, and 
legiilators, confined with their bodies to 


S E R M O N II. 5; 

the filence and oblivion of the grave : 
Whence comes it that the ' hiftory of a 
mean infignyicant petipk and the fettlement 
of God's church fhould from its very be- 
ginning, which is coeval with the world 
itfelf, to this day remain full and com- 
pleat ? Whence comes it that nothing is 
left of innumerable volumes of philofophy 
and polite literature, in the prefervation of 
which the admiration and care of all man- 
kind fpemed to confpirej and that the 
fcriptures have in fpite of all cppoiition 
come down to our time entire and ge- 
nuine ? During the captivity the urim and 
thy,mmm, the ark itfelf, and every glory 
of, Ithe jewifh worfhip was loftj " during 
the profanation of Antiochusy whofoeVer 
was found with the book of the law was 
put to death, and every book that could 
he found burned with fire : " the fame 

* There is a chaCn in the Jewifh hiftory of near 250 
years, vis. between the death' of Nehemia^ and the time of 
the Maccaiees; but Judea being during that perioj^ a pro- 
vince of Syria and under the prefefture of it, the hiftory 
of the Jews is pf courfe involved in that of the country to 
which they were fubjedl. — This was the cafe during the 

» I Match, i. 56, 57. 

* Particularly in that dreadful perfecution under the 
emperor Diochtim about the year ^o^.^i^itc £u/eb. 1. 7. , 


58 SERMON 11. 

impious artifice was put in pradlice by fe- 
veral roman emperors during their perfe- 
cutions of the Chriftians, yet have the 
facred volumes furviVed and triumphed 
over thefe and numberlefs other calami- 
ties. I need not mention that more than 
egyptian darknefs which overwhelmed re- 
ligion for feveral centuries ; during which 
any falfification was fecure, efpecially in 
the old teftament, ' the hebrew language 
being entirely unknown to all but the 
Jews : and yet they have, in fpite of their 
prejudices, preferved with fcrupulous care 
even thofe palTages which confirm moft 
the ch'riftian religion ; the providence of 
God having been gracioufly pleafed to 
make their blindnefs a {landing evidence 
of the truth of the fcriptures, their obfti- 
nacy an inftrument to maintain and pro- 
mote his dodlrine and his kingdom. I 
need not remind you of the prefent low 
ftate of many churches, and the total an- 
nihilation of others, whereof nothing now 
remains but the name and the fcriptures 
tranflated for their ufe-^happy in this re- 
fpefl:, that their particular misfortune is 
of fervice to the general caufe j infomuch 
- - ■' that 

S E R M N II. 's9 

that fb many copies in Co many different 
languages',' preferved under fo many unto- 
ward circumftdnces, and differing from 
each other iin ho effential point, are a 
wonderful proof of their authenticity, au- 
thority, divinity. 

In thefe proofs, though drawn from 
human reafoning, clear evidences appear 
of divine interpofition, and con'fequently 
of the truth of thofe writings '• which 
" are the great charter of Chriflians, 
*• upon the validity of which their faith 
" and their hope are built." But Chrif- 
tianity refls not entirely upon human rea- 
foning : God has given lefs equivocal at- 
feftations of its divine original j that the 
firfl preachers and propagatofs of it re- 
ceived their commiflion from him is ma- 
nifcfl by the miracles they were enabled 
to perform ; and that their writings were 
didtated by his eternal fpirit, the rjiany 
prophecies they contain, and their pundlual 
aiccomplifhmeiit, abundantly demonfli;ate^ 

.To anfwer all the' objections made to 
miracles by the adverfaries of our religion 


6o S E R M O N II. 

would lead me into too wide a field, and 
an attempt of that kind is rendered un- 
neceffary by the fuccefsful labours of many 
pious apologifts> who have beyond all ex- 
ception Ihewn the poflibility of them, 
their neceffity, and fufficiency towards the 
proofs of a divine miffion. I fhall only 
obferve that the firft enemies of the gof- 
pel, Qelfust Hierocks,- Porpbyryt and Ju- 
lian, had a very different opinion from 
what our modern infidels entertain of tef- 
tifications of this kind j and therefore, 
though they could not deny the reality, 
they endeavoured to derogate from the 
greatnefs, pf our Saviour's miracles ; left,; 
if they fhould allow them in their full 
extent, they (hould be forced to acknow- 
ledge the work fupernatural, the worker 
omnipptent. Having thus leffened and 
reduced them, they oppofed to them mi- 
racles faid to have been performed by 
Apuleim, Apollonius, Arijle^s, and others 
whofe names were forgotten almoft as 
foon as mentioned i they attributed them 
to art magie, which "they faid our Savi- 

* They had read or heard that Chfifi had been removed 
into Egjpt to avoid Herod's fury ; but they chofe to give 



out learned in Eg^pt-^— when he was two 
years oldj 'to the tn'oocdtions of demons 
and iml fpirits — whofe power and opera- 
tions he came to deftfoy j ' to the names 
of powerful angels ftolen from the fhriues 
of E^pt-r-Si conceit in all probability bor- 
rowed from the J^wj, * who afferted that 
his miracles were owing to the unutterable: 
name of (rod, the Sbem Jiivftephoraps which 
he had ftolen out of the temple. ' •* *■ See 
** here the force of prejudice, the vanity 
"of reafon, the ftrange perverfehefs of 
** the human mind : th6 heathen philo- 
** fophers believed t^fagic, the jT^w had 
" faith in amuletSj and yet both of them 
" difbelieved Chriftianity l"* 

Thefe idle pretences are folidly confut- 
ed by feveral of the fathers j who ' among 

another realbn for this removal, and aflerted that " he had 
•* been fcroi^ght up there fecretjy, and havJB| thoroughly 
" learned magic returned into JuM/i and fet himfelf up for 
«• a God." Celfus apnd Orig. 1. i. p. lo. 

y IhiA. p. 7. 

^ Magus fuit : chndeftinia artibiis birtnJa ilia pesrfocit : 
■Mgsftierum ex (idstk AngeiwmVi -fetentia nomtta et-remQtas 
furatus (/? djfciplinas. Jdmab. ach. g.\. i. 

* 'Rayiii.pug.Jitl. f, Z^ 

* Weft on we refurrtStion. 

• '^OWi yfM ris innlidAs »/»!», rl xwAv'a ^ t "mcf ipiii hvyi- 


other arguments make, even upon this, 
occafion, ufe of that of prophecy^ . This, 
was one of the charafters by which the 
Jews were to know the MeJiaA -, he was to 
come furniflied with fuch fpecial teftimo-, 
nials and powers from God.. When, yo&n 
fent his difciples to enquire of C&riyi — ^a^t, 
thou the ifxofiw? he that Jliould come^ or is 
it another per/on that, we are in expeSiatiqu 
of? he anfwered and f aid unto themf Go 
and Jhew ^ohn again t-bofe things which ye. 
do hear and fee ; the Blind receive their Jight^ 
and the lame wajky the lepers are cleanfed 
and the deaf heart the dead are raifed up, 
and the poor have the gofpel preached to\ 
them. This was one of the prophetical, 
marks of the Mejiah ; he was not only to 
perform miracles in general, but * thefe 
very miracles in' particular wl^ich are here 

SHiiifieis TifTniiTix'svaf, & Si^Of Tia^ct tSt> ifii @ix a>af, lUa a,Tn&a-.~ 
%» 'ii)i Ti3iti(rifMj», i Toi; fiiy^n 7n<^umTis, itXtM " Ttts isi&^l-. 
" •nanoj zrg/it « ^ir^aj ifg,r Ittaytitiu ■aa^i^tt,^'' ~JuJiinMart, , 
Afoleg. I. p. 60. 

'^.Matth. ii. 2, 3, 4, 5; 

* Ifaiah xxxv. 5. Our Saviour (fays the pious and learn- 
ed Mr. Loiuth upon this pace) proved himfelf to be the 
MeJJias to yohii's difciples "by appealing to this prophecy, as 
literally fuliilled in the miracles which he wrought. 



fpecified by our Saviour. And in truth, 
though miracles muft of. theiaifelves be 
acknowledged by th6 ingenuous and un- 
biaffed to be a pofitive and dire<S proof of 
a , ^ivine miffion ; yet when confidered 
moreover as credentials, .by, which it was 
repeatedly declared that miflion fhould be 
attefted, they acquire a fre|h j degree of 
efficacy and credit j , being a, folemn ratifi- 
cation of tlj^ evidence c|f God, whofe 
faithfulnefs was bound to accompljfh what 
his knowledge had foretold. . 

The tefiimony of miracles viewed in 
this light is comprehended in. that of pro- 
phecy ;>they prove the ^bleiTed ye/us not 
only to have .been a propljet Xent , from 
God, but that very prophet ' io ;^hm. all 
the prophets give witnefi. And here yit 
may not be amifs to obferve, that thi^ 
fqlid and infuperable argument is entiVely 
peculiar to Chrjjiianity j neither Mofes^ 
himfelf nor the law which he efiabliihed, 
were predicted ; both were, made fubfer- 
vient to, typical and prophetical of, their 

^ jiUs X. 43. 



perFeftion and fubftance, the Mejmh and 
his kingdom j for him was this plenitude 
of proof referved, the univerfal atteftation 
of every age lince the foundation of the 
world : to all of theni was Chriji pro- 
mifed, that no generation might be with- 
oQt foiindation for religions hope, thofe 
that preceded his coming be prepared t6 
receive him, tiie then preferit confideritfy 
acknowledge, the foture faithfully hti 
lieve. * Known to God are all Ms warki 
from the beginnings he aloue has them 
all, paft, prefent, and future, in one full 
and entire image before him : to fbrefeq, 
foretel, and at the appointed time produce 
contingencies into adual exiftenCe is pecu- 
liar to him who, with a perfed: and com- 
pleat knowledge; has the fole atid abfolute 
difpofal of all events. Oft this ground 
God chailettges idt)laters and the objddts of 
their worfhip. ^ SHew the things that are 
to come hereafter that -we tfiajy knoijd that 
ye are Gois. Nmnberfefs are the inftance^f 
of this kind in which the infpired wrifefS 
bear witnefs to themfelVesj they difcovef 

8 Ailt XV. 1 8. fc I/.sXi. 23. 


jjot (Mjly tjjp prigin l?:Vi|t tl^e /j^tf pf jaUpa* 
tipns, eyenjC^ tj^eir PiWn. God i^ade the 
gftf^teft r^p^^rqbie? i#ftr#finc;?,t? no,t, only 
tp eviqcp hi? juftice, in tl?€ deftriidtioB of 
i?J^4j^/ and c,a,ptiji!ity pf Jvihk) k\^% Jik;ewife 
the impartiality of ^p hfSi9fhM ^h9 ^^r 
late thofe events, and the truth of the pro- 
f^e^ Yi^o ioffitf^^ 4hf$Bi* Th^ reje(3:ion 
cf ifee Meffi^ % l^e J^§, tjl^eir r^e<^ioijL 
by Gpd, are p^dj^ed l^y a^ll t!^eir ,pro|)het^ 
fi(t a ^Wif $y.hf n tbsy W(e$e> and expedtf;^ 
ever to fhej Ip^is ^peculiar |ii^p|>le j and the 
l^e|l^i|SiS.90,of;theiG^tye^ intp the covenant 
"Sj^^im tfeeiir -exeliiififto is delivered jfroi^ 
^M^<f ^feei.fifift doWiO (|o ''4^^/^c^/ the^aft 
^ tjie ,pr.op|^Qts : j>h<^f^ /C^rcu^f):ances are 
iPQ$tj9:an^y united m #ii@ predi^ipp, and 
Wjftre a^uaUy fp in jfihe accompli(hment, 
with ?the ^dygttt of GMJi.: ^-Sm^ of 
sv^pfc <sj)pgarap«}e (Upon egrth was fp 
^SPgJgf loarifced l^t vwije ^are a;ffured np^ 
G«ly \xy ibip ;Evan8eUfts,)but by b^th I^aga^ 
and Je\«(ifh jbiftprians, that itlie whple na- 
tion ^\^.as abput ^h^t JipaPfbJg with the ,ex- 
pg^ili^ij. „ef }^m »' iiSa jfiimUrMiem 0'k'^f 

' Deuter. xxxii,, 2,1. "^ J^alac. 

' 'Luke xxiv. 21. ' • 

E This 

tt SERMON 11. 

This made them rebel againft the Ro- 
mans i this made them (as is obferved by 
"" one of their own niation) ready to follow 
every impoftoif, who took advantage of 
the times to abufe their hopes and ferve 
his own ambitious defigns. 

That the heathen world were' not Gran- 
gers to this expe«Satiotti by whatever 
means it was raifed in them, whether by 
tradition, the books of the Sibylls, their 
intercourfe with the Jews in donfcquence 
of their difperfion, or laftly by the Greek 
verfion of the facred oracles — by whatever 
means this expedtation was raifed, that it 
was entertained by the Gentile world is too 
plain to be called in queftion. To what 
other caufe can we attribute the ap- 
pearance of fo many candidates at that 
time, and at no other, for fovereign- 
Vj, and the ready fubmiiSion of the Ro- 
mans who yet held the very name of king 
in deteftation ? " No lefs th3.n' Jeventeeri 
prodigies are mentioned, by which ^uguj- 
tus was thought to be the perfort pointed 

" J"/- bift. 6.^. Suet. Vefp, 4. *■ Sueten, ij^ Aug. 94. 


S E R M O N II. 67 

at by the oracles for; univerfal monarchy j 
and one in particular, a few months before 
his birth, at which the fenate was fo much 
alarmed as to decree that all the children 
born within that year fhduld be deftroyed. 
*The fame was predidled 6i Tiberius in 
his infancy^ by S:Cribonius an aftrolpger, 
with this remarkable addition •* that he 
" was to reign without the enfigns of 
" royalty," regfiaturum , quandoque Jed^Jiite 
regio infigni ', a circumftance fo exaftly cor- 
refponding with C&rifi's lowly eftate men- 
tioned by the prophets, as to leave no 
doubt of the diviner's having ftolen from 
them this idea of that extraordinary per- 
fonage then univerfally looked for, who 
was indeed a king, but whofe 'kingdom 
•was not of this world. ' According to the 
opinion then prevailing (for which the old 
writings of the priefts and an antient tra- 
dition was quoted) this univerfal icing was 
to come from Judea. Hence thofe extra- 
ordinary favours, of which Philo boafts fo 
much, fhewn to the Jewifli nation by all 
the emperors ; hence the jealouiy which 

• Suet, Tib. 14. ' John xviii. 36. • 

9 Tacit, hift. 1. I.e. 13. Suet. Veff. \. 

E 2 Fefpafian 

68 S E R M O N ir. 

YtJ^aJum conceived agaie^ fiis fon TiVas 
aftCT fcis conqueft of JWe«, left he ^fliowM 
revolt £pom him and mal&e himfelf empe- 
ror of the lea^ j ' hence he munbered aW 
that could be found i«f rfac lineage <jf 
IXa'^dt that he might tie fure of having 
no competitor in the -eaft j and ' hence 
perhs^B (for I w©«ild not be thought to 
lay too much ftrcfe upon prefumpti'bns 
of this kiBd) "JUtus hrmfdf, when the title 
feeraed by thiefe means to be rendered fe- 
cure, had the appellation given him of 
deiicia hummi generis in allufion to the ' de^ 
Jire of ioU nations, by which -name the king 
poiinited at in the oriental prophecy was 

Thus much for the general €Xpei9:ation 
df the Oent^e world about the time of our 
SaiViifooT's iaippearanoe in dve ^^fh. As for 
the ^)^J, ^e period ifor hi« coming was 
fo clearly and pveciibly deterniined by 

' EM.'hyi. eeekfA. 5. c. 12. 

° Ijiere are coins flruckin hononr -of Auguftus and Galin 
Witli this inTcnpdon. Snlus geuerh bumtini. f^niek prefled 
Galia to aiTume the purple in thefe terms ut humano generi 
^Jfertorem ducen^ue^ ttceommSaret. 

* Hag. ii, 7. 


$ E R M O N II 69 

their prophets, that it was impoffible for 
^QEa. %o oiiftake iu Ajceijrdlr^ly we find 
them, from that tinfte to the hr^ de&ruc- 
tion of their eit^i ind gQvernment, look- 
ing^ for him with the utmoft eagerne^ and 
impatience i and, vthtn that dreadfixl ca- 
taftrophe had entirely cut off all their 
hoifieS;, the pitiffud evafions lAiey. made u& of 
(fome pretending that their fins had pre- 
vented his cofiiiing at the appoihted time, 
o|h?rs that h« reaily did come bt|t con- 
cealed himfelf ) are a full demondration 
agajni^ themfelybs, that in ye^f Chrifi all 
th^, chambers of tiiine^ as well as others, 
were .rei^ly and £ctdy oompteatedw > Q£ this 
truth the niodcara Rabhis i are ib feniible» 
that they " fovbhl uiasder tlie penalty of a 
curfe the people to examine the dirono-i 
logical prophecies, and comptite from 
them the coming of the Mafftdhi vthvi)x 
appeared fo clearly fixed to * Rabbi Nebe- 
jnias, who lived fifty years before €hriflp 
that he declared the Mejfiab codld not be 
deferred beyond thpfe fifty years. 
- • ( 

■ Cocceius ^tutft. It re/p.juJ. cuifii. p. 334. 
" Grot, deverit. 1. 5, c 14. 

. * ' E 3 ' The 

70 S E R M O N II. 

The Prophecies indeed, thofe of Daniel 
particularly, are fo very explicit and were 
fo exadlly fulfilled that * Porphyry, a 
learned Pa,gan of the third century, en- 
deavoured in his vyritings againft Chrif- 
tianity to prove that they were not ^a- 
phetical. :^x&d\^\ons of things future, but 
hifiorkal narratives of events already paft, 
and publiflied under the name of Daniel 
fome ages after the death of that prophet. 
But this method of invalidating prophe- 
cies is, as ''.St. y£)ro«? rightly obferves, the 
greateft evidence for the truth of them, 
'being entirely and confefledly founded 
upon, the exaftnefs of their accomplifli-' 
ment. , That they were not forged need 
no other proof than that they were and 
ftill are kept and ^acknowledged b^ ; the 
Jews j^ and therefore * Si. Atiftin imputes 

^ ' Hierdp^ in fronem. ad etpment.iif' DanitlL ; ,' ,, 
y Cujus impugnatio teftimonium veritatis eft. Hieron, 
ibid. ■ ^ ''• '■>■-' -. ■ 

» As God obliged Balaam ((ayiTheodor^) to ,bJ^/s,}^is 
people whom he was come to curfe, to he turned the tongue 
of- Parphyry againft himfelf and employed him as an inftru- 
ment to deftroy the falfliood which he laboured to eftabliih. 
Theodor, de curand. Gracor, afftS, 1, 3, ' 

« their 

S E R M O Nf II. 71 

their prefervMion and difperfion to God's 
■peculiar providence making good that pro- 
phetical prayer of the Ffalmiji, ^Jlay tkem 
not left my people forget it ; butfcatter them 
abroad among the />fo^/^j that thus they 
might carry among all nations clear and 
unfufpedl:ed demon ftrations , that Jefus 
whom they rejed:ed was truly the Mejtab 
who " Mofes and the prophets did fay JhouJd 

To this teftimony born to Chriftianlty 
by the predidtions of the o/c/ teflament we 
muft not forget, though ftreightened by 
the time ufually allotted to difcourfes of 
this kind, to add thofe of our Saviour 
himfelf, which were afterwards pundually 
verified by the event. He foretold every 
minute circumftance of his. own fuffer- 
ings, thofe of his difciples; his death, re- 
fnrre«ftion, and afcenfion j the affiftances 
which he would grant his tApoftles by the 
miffion of the Holy Ghoft, the perfecu- 
tions, the herefies, and apoftacies of his 
followers, and in Ipite of all thefe oH- 

k P/. lix. n. * JSixxvi. 22. 

^i E4 ftacles 


fticl^i the fpeedy and wonderfal propaga*. 
tion of the gofpel ; * t&is gojpel of tbe^ king- 
donijhall he preached In all the 'worM.for a 
•wiiiitefi to all nations and then Jhall thd end 
ccmei the end or dfeftrtidion of Jerufahm 
and the whale Jewifli nation j which, as 
he tfeld th6m at a tinle wbefi it Was very 
linlikely to happen, did however happen 
^ before thai gemrdtioii pe^&d. The difmal 
calamities attending it are diftindly and 
particularly enumerated ; ' the fortification 
by which Ukus encompafled the city in 
fi»ch a nJaiisneit thdt hone doiild- come OHt 
of it J the famine confequent thereupon j 
fliB tdrtal demdifion of thfe temple and 
city; the amazing lldughter of the Inha- 
bitants J the captivity and difpcrfion of 
thtife that fufvr^, cireumftincei all ex- 
prefily mentiohfed in our Savimr'a. pr®»! 
pfeecy tjf thbfb day& of Ven^^Qcej, diftrefsi 
asxdwfiaih, ftind: as .exprefsl'y recorded in 
tn^rw^ltin^S of an hiftoriah of their own 
of undoubted credit anti iauthdrity^ 

• ■ ■ " . ^.. ' - Mii 

„''Jljf«^' xxiv. 14. 1^ 'LukesxU^z. . 

' Compare the 24th chapter' of St Maitheiu, the latter 
part of the 19th and the 21ft of St. Luke with Jofephiu, 

'? vtl Upon 


, Upon the .whole theij---Religion being 
(as tk^ logicians /peak) the e$pula rtlatianis. 
between God an^ man muft of courfe ,be 
as antjent as that relation. No other 
writings whatever be^des the holy fcrip- 
tures attempt any account of the primitive 
rtf%/j» of the World, ; In them we have 
through the fpecial prQvidence,;of God «z/- 
ntculaufyipreferved the feveral declarations 
of his wijl which he was pleafed to make 
to our ft^efathers from the beginning; 
every^ difpe^fationi however different in ap- 
pmrofteei is found to be in truth andfubfiance 
tl^is^famei all through a variety of circum- 
ftanpes are , by a wonderful concatenation 
made fubfervient to the fame end,* center 
a^d terminate in him who was prefigured 
by their rites and ceremonies, of whoia 
all the pa^triarcka were types»all thepriefts 
and prophets reprefentations. The truth 
of, the fa^ts recorded is proved beyond,the 
pofEbility of a doubt by feveral internal 
marks, and externally by the kn^h of time 
in whidh thfeir atithenticily has bedn allow- 
ed* by a coH/iAnt uriikiierrupted ifadidon 
edhfij-riied by ib'e ackno'vskdgement dJ 0^ 



adverjaries t hem/eh es. The doSirines by 
their excellency bear ample teftimoHy to 
themfclves. They have moreover received 
the fanftion of a direSi and folemH attejia- 
tion froni heaven " by the mediation of 
** figns and works fiipernatural beyond the 
** power of any creature to efFeft or coun- 
** terfeit." Thefe works were confeffedly* 
performed by the blefled yefu^t and in 
his name and by his appointment by thofe 
alfo whom he comniiffioned to carry on 
the great fcheme of falvation begun by 
himfelf. The divinity of thefe miracles 
themfelves are in a peculiar manner con- 
firmed by their having been foretold', in 
hifli whom we acknowledge this together 
with all the other prophetical marks and 
chara^ers by which the Mejfidh was to be 
known exactly concur. He was to be 
^ bork at'Bethlehemt ^ of the tribe of ^udaht 
of the * royal houfe of David-, circumftances 
afcertained by the providence of Gocly. 

i Micahv. 2. Matth. li. 7. : 

"•-This IS clearly fignified by the patriarch Janh. Gene/, ; 

xlix. 7. HeB. vii, 14. ' " 

' I/a. xi. I, lo. Jer. xxiii. 5, &c.— Hence our Saviour 

is in the Revelations, v. 5. called the lion of the trite of Ju- 

dab, the root of Daiiid, 


S E R M O N II. 7S 

who made the enrolment of the empire 
by a pagan fubfervient to the fulfilling and 
notoriety of his prophecies. He was to 
be " J>orn of a virgin, and theugh of royal 
lineage yet of ' a poor family, of external 
mgannefs and obfcurity ; " the latter of thefe 
circumftances his adverfaries always urged 
againft him j the former his evangelifts and 
all other difciples^ perfons of unimpeached 
integrity, conftantly avowed ; and had the 
truth thereof not been notorious, the in- 
quifitive malice of the Sqribes and Pha- 
rifees would foon have detedted and gladly 
publifhed the falfliood. " He was to come, 
according to the patriarch yacob, while 
the tribe of Judah and thofe who adhered 
to- it remained one body politic governed 
by their own laws j according to the pro- 
phets " Haggai and ' Malachi while the 
fecond temple ftood j according to the 
predidlion of ' Daniel fliortly before the 

^ I/a. vii. 14. Matth. i. 23. 

' J/a. xHx. 7. liii. 3. 

" Is net thit the carpenter, the /on of Mary, the hrother of 
y ffSes i^c P'— And they luere effended at him. Mark vi. 3.— 
jAatth. xiji. 55, &c. 

* Genef.. xlijc. 8. * ' Hagg. ii. 6, 7, 8. 

f Mai. iii. i , ' Dan, vs.. 24> 26. 


76 S E R M O N il. 

dertrudion of the city and fanftuary, 
within a determined period of time, 
which, however computed, falls within 
the compafs of the age wherein he lived, 
and the deftruftion of Jerufalem. To pre- 
pare the Jews for this period God had 
been pleafed to wean them by degreciS 
from the law of Mofes : he built them in- 
deed a temple after the captivity ; btt 
withdrew the ark of his prefence and the 
urim and thummim from among them, 
and accepted of offerings m>ade by ftrange 
fire J thus abrogating one ceremony after 
the other as the time approached wherein 
C^riji was to cancel all tl^e ordinances. 
When he appeared upon earth he con-^ 
ivmed what the prophet had foretold QOnt- 
cerning the abomination of deiblation, the 
demolition of this fecopd temple, their 
woeful tragedy, captivity and difperfion. It 
Jiccordingly came to paf&i and^ then their; 
peculiarity vifibly ceafed ; their polity both 
civil and ecclefiaftical was totally dcftroy- 
ed J and they have ever fince remaiined 
miferable exiles, without the diftindlion 
of tribes or genealogies, ^ •without prince., 

" iSeisg- vf the ihrte children, v. 14. 


8 E R M O H II. Tj 

fr^phet or kader, without burnt-offering, fa- 
erie, obiation, incenft, or place to Jatrijke 
ifrfare God. That polity, during the con- 
tinuance of which EMloh was to comte, is 
now jiiffialvod j the temple, which the de- 
fire of ali motions was to fill with his glory, 
is laid even with the ground j the pferiod, 
in which the Meffiah was to make an 
atonement for fin, i-s expired j and the 
whole nation of , the Jews a ftandipg 
monument of the ' defolation which was 
to come at the end thereof. If therefore 
the Meffiah foretold by the prophets be 
not already come, he can never come j the 
place, the time, and all other circum- 
ftances aflligned to him, are now no more. 
But the Mejjiah foretold by the prophets 
is come, and therefore is ' the vifion and 
prophecy fealed up j all the predictions of 
foregoing ages concerning him are accom- 
plifhed, and therefore neither the place, 
nor the time, nor any other circumftance 
afligned to him is or can be any more. 
" Wherefore holy brethren partakers of the 

' Dan, ix. 26, * Dan. iz. 24. '^ Heb. iif. I. 


78 S E R M O N II. 

heavenly calling let us not * rebel againjl the 
light t * let us take heed leji there be in any of 
us an evil heart of unbelief -^ for '' how Jball 
ijoe efcapej if we negleSi fo great fahation» 
•which at thefrfl began to be fpoken by the 
Lord, and has been confirmed unto us by them 
that heard him j God alfo bearing them wit" 
nefs both with fgns and wonders and with 
divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghojl f 

y Joixxiv. 13. * Heb. ill. iz. ' Heh. ii. 3, 4, 

[ 79 1 


Isaiah Ixi. i, 2. 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; becaufe 
the hard bath anointed me to preach good 
tidings unto the meek; he hath fent me 
to bind up the broken-'hearted, to proclaim 
liberty to the captifoest and the opening 
of the prifon to them that are bound; 
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 

* /Tp HERE have not been waging 

A. men of piety and abilities who have 

endeavoured to overthrow the evangelical 

■ See Mr. Lmiith's excellent preface to his learned 
Commentaries on the prophets. 

*'^ fenfe 


fenfe of the prophecies of the old tefta- 
ment, confining them merely to what is 
improperly called their primary meaning, 
and appropriating them wholly to the per- 
fons of whom or to whom they were 
pro^icimately ^okqn^ and f heir jaccompljuQi- 
ment to or near the times in which they 
were delivered. 

It may indeed be doubted whether the 
prophets themfelves fully uhderftood the 
chief and ultimate djefign «pf * what they 
Jpake when they were moved by the Holy 
Ghafi -t b«t it is n^t^ of ^i^iJ^RJltpipitit 
tiaat as^ intelligiei^ si^ jU(|)f|)$j^4ipjpd 4?ea- 
der ci^ .the &rij}dtur^ <c^ call vs^o ,^uefl:ion 
tbe typical ;miea:B*ng >(af the pccfthepies,: 
which thoie {a!U:th0ii$ie records ^flw-P J^im 
were fulfilled in tbie ^rcpiifeii ^ejj^t). 

" The fpace of time from Ifaiah to 
Makdi was nfuirely ^^^■x^pw ?- fpundary 

* t/dmh^s firft vifiori was in the yeaf that king Vzxie% 
died. c. vi. i . Malachi was cotemporary, if not the fame, 
va^ ,^sav.i tj«e ffftji^.^ ^eOMeen ^t^ejn vcan therefore but 
very little, if at all, exceed ,^)^4M^njb;^d^e^r^. 

::::: to 


to confine the plenitude of divine revela- 
tion i the captivity of the Jews and their 
return from thence, though under the di- 
rection of Providence, -were certainly of 
themfelveis events too inconfiderable to 
merit all the pomp and folemnity with 
which the vifions are introduced and the 
a<3:ors in that glorious- fcene, even Cheru- 
bim and Seraphim and the God of I/rael 
himfelf. Such fpecial interpqfitions could 
not have temporary occurrences only for 
their objeds,, but through them extended 
their view to * •wi>at, Jhould come to pafs at 
the laji, andjheived what Jhould come to pafs 
forever. The exultation and. triumph of 
the prophetical promifes were particularly 
defigned to raife in the minds of the Jews 
an expedtation of far greater bleffings than 
their deliverance from the ^abylonifo cap- 
tivity, and return to Judea. Thefe were 
only preludes to their deliverance from the 
dominion of -fin, and title to the heavenly 
Canaan ; bleffings, which fuch among 
them as believed have obtained, and we 
tbrough.the tender mercy of our God this 

■• Eccluf. xlviii. 24, 2J. . 

F day 


day enjoy. And accordingly we read 
throughout the infpired writings that the 
Apoftles looked upon * the tejilmony ofjefus 
to be the fpirit ofpropkny ; always confirtifi- 
ing, when they difputed with the Jews, 
the dotftrines of the new by the writings of 
the old tejhment. But we have ftill greater 
authority than theirs; even that of our 
bleffed Saviour j who in his expofition of 
the prophecy, which I have chofen for my 
text, has applied it to himfelf faying after 
he had read it-—* this day is fuelled h ^et^n 
aiivti iv ims ucriv vf^m this very Jcnpttire' which 
you have juji now heard. 

The prophet Ifaiah from whom the 
words are taken, having in the foregoing 
chapters defcribed vijider feveral fymhols 
and allegories the fate of the church from 
the beginning to th© end of tJme, at laft 
introduces the Mejjiah manifefling himfelf 
to the Jewifh nation, and explaini«g his 
own office together with the benefits and 
privileges of the oeconomy of grace .in ^* 
rmliar phrajes- by an eafy allitfion to a 

* Renitl. xix. lo. ^ Luieiv. z\. 


S'E R M O N III. 83 

folemn feftival, defigned b put them in 
mind of a temporal and prefigure ^fpiritual 
delivefattce. This was the « Jubilee cele- 
brated with the greateft tokens of joy by 
God's own exprefs appointment; every 
partkukr circumftance of Which was ana- 
logous to fome part of the gofpel difpen- 
fation, and the whole a lively adumbration 
of the ^ mercy promifed to our forefathers 
through thi redemption that is irt Chriji 

God irt the beginftiflg created man up- 
right, and bellowed upon him many fingu- 
lar marks of efpecial regard and favtJur, 
dignifying him with the iyrerog^tive of 
dominion over the reft of the creation, 
and placing him in a delightful garden 
which he honoured with his own imme- 
diate prefence, condefceAding to have fre- 
<jtient iiitercourfe v^ith man. The tree of 
life was planted in the midft 1 the fruit of 
Which Wsfs a'pjsoifited by ^natural or fa^ 
cramental virtue to preferve and prolong 
his life ih this ftate of blifs Jtrid glory. 

t Li'vit, 2^. ^Luke\.j2, J?«»st. iii. 24.. 

F 2 But 

84 S fi R M O N III. 

But he was difobedient to the divine 
command, and eat of the only fruit which 
God had forbidden him, having exprefsly 
faid, ' in the day that thou eateji thereof 
thou Jhalt furely die. ''In the penalty of 
death annexed to difobedience was virtually 
implied the promife of life upon obedi- 
ence i but the conditions of the covenant 
being broken, all title to the reward was 
forfeited j the punifhment denounced muft 
be inflidted, or the honour of the lavv and 
the authority of the lawgiver trampled 
upon. The covenant had been by the 
goodnefs of God accommodated in every 
refpedt to the nature of man j his reafon 
and uaderftanding, his appetites and paf- 
fions, were interefted in his obedience : the 
injunSHon of a pofitive command was founded 
on that duty, which reafon c^ould not but 
tell him he owed to his creator and bene- 
factor ; -the promife had an ejfpecial regard 
to the defire of happinefs interwoven in 
his very frame ; and the threatning to the 

' Gin. ii. 17. 

" This is proved at large by our excellent biiliop Bull 
in his learned difcourfe concerning the firfl covenant and tbt 
fiate of man before the fall. ' 



prevailing afFedtion of fear, which ftarts 
at every bbjc6t deftru61:ive of his being. 
If after fo fignal and ungrateful an abufe 
of God's kindnefs man had gone totally 
unpunifhed, what idea could he have 
formed to himfelf of God's veracity, pu- 
rity, and abhorrence of iniquity ? Would 
not an abfdlute and unconditional pardon 
of this firft, and therefore moft heinous 
fin as being the caufe and origin of all 
fubfequent ones — would it not have oc- 
cafioned fecurity under guilt, apd made 
man fay in his heart, ' T^Jh the Lord' does 
not fee, neither does God regard if ? Would 
it not have deftrdyed the neceffity of reli- 
gion and holinefs, and fruftrated the fo-' 
lemnity of divine laws and divine com- 
mands ? for if pardon is arbitrary, puhifh- 
ment muft likewife be arbitrary ; ^ and 
every thing of coiirfe refolved into the 
defpotic power of God, which neceflatfly 
fuperfedes if not totally annihilates his 
truth, juftice, mercy, and other eflential 
attributes. Man was amply provided for ' 
a continuance in his original red^itude, 

• P/. xciv. 7. 

F 3 furniflied 

86 a E H M o N ni 

fyfnifhed vyith power's fqfiicient to per- 
fqrrp thp moft fpiritual pbedienp&i he 
CQuld the^efo^e piea4 no excufe, neither 
qopl4 Go4 confidently with his righteouf^ 
nefs and veracity diQjenfe with fo dire£^ a 
violation pf his ppfitive cpmtnanc^, hy,^ 
•was obh'ged to YJndjcate the facrednefs of law? hy putting into execution the 
punifliment denounced againft the tranf- 

Tp a,pprehend rightly tl^e nature, and 
Qpnfequeotly fprni a true judgement, of 
th,i|S pun^fhi^eRt; we piuft confider it in 
tliree 4ift^nfl! poiptsi pf view j fpr the de^th, 
di^{loiApi?e4 in the fei^^tehqe is threefold. — - 
Ew'O:, 4 fpkifml 4mtkt a deprivatipn pf 
th.^t purity and hpjinefs. derived from the 
(^YM?e J iniage imprinted on the foul of 
na;S]9.-T^.§pc9Adly» A tmporal desit^{ a fub- 
j^ipll tq the ndiferies of a, corrupt and 
djftpfave^ Mtijre* to la,^Pur and pain, in- 
firmtities and difeafes, ^nd at laft a feparai" 
tion of th^ foul from the body. — Thirdly, 
A,ii, etfirml d«»thi ^ future ftate of endlefs 
mifery in the feparation of the foul from 
God. AU thefe l?inds of death were in- 



eluded in the penalty annexed to the vlo* 
lation of the covenant of works. But 
" God had not forgotten to be gt'ackus 3 " in 
the mid/i of -wrath he remembefed mercy : of 
the three parts of which the punifhrnent 
confifted the Jirji only was immediately 
felt. And this perhaps may not fo pro* 
perly be faid to have been a ptiniihment 
inEided as the natural effedt of a natural 
caufe, not fo much % judicial aS a neeeffar^ 
confequence of man's difobedience. There 
is no ° communion between Hgbt ahd darktkjs, 
neither could holinefs dwell in< what "(vas 
finful and corrupt., Man having once 
parted wit^h his innOc^fle^y his thoiightsy 
defires, and a^e<^ions, his whole fi^aiiie 
and conilitotlonV became ^ilbrdered and 
vitiabgd; and this degenefacj' and de|:>]tavi'^ 
ty was, by, the natural law of pf6pagdlioni,» 
unavoidably tranfmitt^d by. him to hi» 
unhappy pofterity. This I a<p|wehend tp 
be the true meaning of what is called ori-f 
ginaljin, the abfence of original righteouf- 
nefs-i that dai^knefs in the und^ftafitding 

" ^..Ixxvii. 9. " Hahak. iii, 2. 

" zC^. VI. 14. 

F 4 and' 


and obliquity in the will, which fucceeded 
that original light and reditude by which 
:/^dam, if he had continued in his obedi- 
ence, would have been enabled to have 
led a Jpiritual life here on earth j but, 
having fufFered himfelf to be defpoiled of 
them by the wiles of the tempter, both 
he and thofe, who with their being de- 
rived the infection from him, became 
fpiritually dead, ^ dead in trefpajfes andjinsi 

This fad effeft of their difbbcdience our 
firft parents, I fayi immediately and very 
feverely felt: "^ they knew that they were 
naked; they perceived the foul degradation 
of their nature z.n^^ hid themjelves from the 
frefence of the Lord God. Confcioufneli 
of their guilt brought upon them the 
dread of God's juft anger and refentment, 
arid anticipated all the horrors and tor- 
ments of punifliment even before fentence 
was pronounced. 

The other .parts of the penalty though 
God did not, could not, abfolutely dif- 

P Ephef. ji. I. .1 Genef. iii. 7. 

' Genef. iii. 8. 



penfe with j yet he did not direftly or 
rigoroufly exa£t them ; he granted the of- 
fenders a long reprieve from temporal 
death, and even before he paffed fentence 
conveyed to them by the promife of a re- 
deemer the comfortable hopes of their 
being totally delivered from eternal death, 
and recovering the title to life' which they 
had forfeited by their difobedience. That 
Adam underftood the promife in this fenfe 
is, I think, plain from his changing the 
name of his wife, and henceforth calling 
her "Eve-y clearly alltidirig to the promifed 
*feed of the woman by whom all mankind 
(now under fentence of death) were to be 
reftored to life. And that Eve's hopes 
likewife were eredt is evident from her 
fond and fanguine expedlation of this 
great deliverer in her firft-bbrn. * / have 
gotten J fays fhe, a man from the Lordi or 
as " fome learned men (vvho think that in 
the original the particle Df? ddnotes, as it 

• Gene/, iii. 20. ' ' Gene/, iv. I . 

* Among others Ifidarus Clarjm, v/ho a.4ds. Nam et caitr- 
lifiica traditio mtminit prtmijjimis di Mefflah primis parentibus 

faa<g. See Berriman's fourth fermon at Boyle's leftures and 
the authorities he quotes. , 

' often 


often does, the accufative cafe) rendei;,the 
words by appofition, / have gotten th^^ 

Together with moral, phyfical evil alfo 
was introduced into the world j whethey 
by a natural connexion between them arif- 
ing from the original conftitution of th,ings, 
or by a fpecial interpofition of providence 
at this period, lies within the bofoni of 
the Almighty j but that the earth did ac- 
tually fympathize. with man, and that the 
promife of deliverance from corruptioij 
was expefted to extend to the material 
world, the prophecy of Lamech at the 
birth of Noah, the typical reflorer of 
mankind, is a direft and pofitive prood^j 
He gave him the name of Noeh which 
fignifies. comjort faying, '"this fame {hall 
comfort us concerning our work and toil, of 
our hands hficaufe of the ground which the 
Lord hatJ) curfed. God wliofe every difr; 
peniation is founded on mercy, and has 
always a refpeift to that amazing inftance 
of it the redemption of man through 

"" Gene/, v. 29. 



Chrift, was pleafed to keep this aflurance 
alive by variou? metho4S| by promifes de- 
claratory and emblematical j never leaving 
his fa^le^^ creatures without ;hope, nor his 
gracious intentions ^yithftut witpefs, "That 
he continued to favpur fh^ni with fevqral, 
if not manifeftations of his preifenqcj, at 
leaft revelations of his will has been con- 
cluded from fome hints given by Mofei in 
his ithprt hiflory of manki;nd before the 
^ood. Qf this point the prophecy of La~ 
f&$ch juft mentione.d feems to me clearly 
decifive. It is however worthy 0/ obfer- 
vation that he makes mention only of the 
Cijrie, which the Lcird, had pronounced, 
aiidf infli<3jed on the ground j whereas 
ji^^si^s prophetical ^ropofttion of the name 
of Eve upon his wife has plainly a refpedt 
only to the reftoration of mankind to life 
by the promifed feed. It feettis therefore 
not unreafonable ta fijppqfe that therf- bad 
been a fubfequtent revelation,, in which God, 
ma4e known his gEaciou.s purpofe of re- 
lieving man's temporal mifery, by an 
abateiaent of that fterility, malignity, n^nd 

^ Set ShMck/ord's conneSion, I, i. 

' general 

92 SERMON m. 

general depravation which had on the fall 
infedted the whole inanimate creation. 
Adam poffibly might not feel this part of 
the cutfe in its full rigour j that it was 
encreafed upon the murder of Jlbel is 
more than probable ^ for the ^ Lord faid 
unto Cain, When thou tillejl the ground it 
Jhall not henceforth yield unto thee her 
Jirength ; which words furely imply' that 
it had hitherto in fome degree yielded her 
ftrength, in a degree fuperior to that in 
which it {hoiild do it for the future. As 
men increafed in wickbdnefs we may, from' 
the analogy eftabliflied between moral and 
phyfical evil, venture to fuppofe that the 
curfe increafed in proportion, till at laft 
impiety having attained its utmoft height 
it was fully compleated by the total de- 
ftrudlibn of the earth. 

When Noah took poffeffion of the new 
world his father's prophecy began to take 
plkce;— '^ The Lord /aid in his heart, I will 

y Gettef. iv. 12. For this obfervation and others adopted 
in this difcourfe I am indebted to Dr. Worthington's Efay on 

* Gene/, viii. zi^ 


S E R M O N III. 93 

not again curfe the ground any more for man's 
fake. — While the earth remaineth, feed time 
and harveji, and, cold and heat, and fummer 
and winter, and day and night, Jhall not ceafe, 
plainly intimating that/ the temperature pf 
the ^ir and the variety of feafons, which 
by their irregularity were inftrun^ents of 
corre<Sion in the antediluvian vvorld , 
ijiould for the future by their regularity 
and conftant fucceffion be inftruments of 
mercy, and ■ the means of removing that 
curfe of vvhich the flood had been the 
effed and confequence. 

Noah being typical of our Saviour and 
the deluge of baptifm the bleflings, con- 
tained in the covenant made with him in 
confequence of the flood, are like wife 
typical of the bleflings prooiifed by the 
evangelical covenant in confequence of 
our fpiritual regeneration by the waters, of 
baptifm. But the type is always infefioir, 
to the antitype i the bleflings coven^ted 

* See Bifhop Sl^rhtk'% fourth difcourfe on prophecy, and his 
fecond iijftttation annejted to the difCoarfes. 



with Noah were merely temporal, and 
even that in a lower degree 3 by them 
indeed the feverity of the curfe was great- 
ly foftetted, but by no means totally re- 
moved i yet did this relief adminifter 
great comfort upon his entrance into the 
new world ; it was a pledge of and a pre- 
lude to the reftitution of hature to its 
original ftate, in the fame manner as 
Enoch was to his forefathers an earneft of 
their deliverance from' that far greater 
penalty of the curfc, fubjedion unto 

Thus did God by different revelations 
at different periods pfeferve man froiii- 
defpaif, and provide for his prefent com- 
fort by giving him frequent aflurances 
that he ftiould in time be raifed from that 
deplorable degradation into which he was 
ftrnk, and reftored to his primitive righte- 
oufnefs and of courfe to his primitive 
happinefs. For thelre is, as we have be- 
fore obferved, a correfpondence between 
moral and phyfical evilj the world, hav- 
ing been made for man, felt together with 
man the effefts of God's difpleafure j it 

. fell, 


fell, and by Confequential reafbning will 
rife with man ; it has been made an in- 
ftrument of mifery to fin, and will by 
the blefiing of God be made an inftru- 
ment of felicity to righteoufnefs ; when 
according to the eftabliftied rules of its 
fabferviency to moral caufes it fliall here- 
after together with man recover its former 
excellence and perfedtion : '' Hhou Jhali 
judge the folk right eoujiy and govern the 
nations upon earth: then Jhaff the earth 
bring forth her incredfe, and God even our 
own God Jhall give us his Bleffing. 

The removal of the curfe is with great 
probability fuppofed to have commenced 
immediately after the deluge^ and con- 
tinued ever fince by flow degrees in pro- 
portion to man's advancement in virtue 
and piety. And hence I prefume may in 
fome meafure be conceived one reafon 
why God, in his dealings with our fore- 
fathers, made temporal rewards and punifli- 
ments.the only j&,n(3;ioniS of his 1-aws. The 
whc4e fcheme of redemption was too ex- 

* Ff. Ixvii'. f. 6. 



tenfivp and fubl^me to be comprehended 
by men, whofe intelledlual as well as 
moral faculties had not yet recovered the 
fhock. they had received by the fall ; the 
myfteries therefore of a Jpiritual deliver- 
ance (though by far the moft excellent 
part, nay, properly fpeaking the whole of 
the promife becaufe natural bleffings are 
the genuine effedls and neceffary confe- 
quence oi fpritual ones) the myfteries, 
I fay, of zfpiritual deliverance, not being 
accommodated to the infirmities of an 
infant capacity, were not fully revealed ; 
but fuggefted only by general hints, re- 
prefented by perfonal types, and fliadowed 
under ceremonial figures : whereas the 
removal of temporal evils, the fad effefts 
of which they could not but perceive 
and feel, being more likely to operate 
upon them was exprefsly made the ' bafis 

■^ 1/ ye 'walk in my Jiatutes and keep my commandments and 
do them, then I tuill gi'ue you rain in due fea/on, and' the land 
Jhall yield her increafe, i^c. &e. Levit. xxvi. 3, 4. &c. — On- 
the contrary, - difobedience was threatened with temporal 
punifhrnents.— Ba^ if ye •will not hearken unto me, and 'will 
not do all thefe commandmefits ; I "wiJl alfo do thit unto you ; 
I 'will e'ven appoint O'uer you terror, fsff . I 'will bring the land 
into defolation. ibid. 14. 16. 32. This curfe was afterwards 
on account of their difobedience carried into execution, 


SERMON m. 97 

of all covenants and the reward of thelt 
obedience : God even by this method ftill 
carrying on in an efficacious, though fecret, 
manner his gracious plan of making the 
recovery of the natural the confequcnee 
of the reftoration of the moral w^orld. For 
thi& gradual reparation of the breaches 
made in nature (exclufive of the powerful 
motives to virtue and piety, which the 
pfojpoftioh it bore to their obedience fup-^ 
plilsd them with) could not but raife and 
cherifh in them a comfortable confidence, 
not only that they would at laft be totally 
clofed up, but that the" other part alfo of 
the promife w(3uld in God's own time have 
its full completion. 

To keep this confidence alive and fup- 
port men in their ftate of mortality with 
the hopes of a refloration to life, God 

and feiAains miji^y in full force even to this day ; bearing 
ample teftimony to the veracity of God, and confeqijently 
affbtdlftg fcoj)e and aiflbrance that (&s he has tiirnid a fruitful 
land inft ianenntfifer their iMtchidne/t fo^ likewife) 'Oihen thty 
follo>M • after righiebufnefs and feek the Lord, he luill comfort 
'Ziqn j he Hjitil etihfert all her miaftt places i and he ■^ill maht 
her nuildernefs like Eden, and her defert like the garden of thf 
Lord. Jf. li. 1.3. 

G had 


had been pleafed (as has been before ob- 
ferved) to give them an carneft and' pledge 
of it in Enoch, and he afterwards renewed 
it in Elijah ; both of whom were on ac- 
count of their exemplary lives tranflated 
from this world without tafting death. 
Yet, notwithftanding thefe notices, and 
the infight which the more enlightened 
among them had into the fpiritual mean- 
ing of the types, figures, and promifes, 
(of which whoever reads the 1 1 th phapter 
to the Hebrews with attention can have no 
doubt) yet the generality of them feera 
not to have had any other idea of the re- 
demption by the MeJJiah, than that of a 
temporal or earthly redemption. It was 
the gofpel alone that "* brought immortality 
to light -J ''to the promifes of the life that. now 
is adding the promifes of that which is to 
come. Even the Prophets themfeLves, 
though in their days the oeconomy of 
grace was very much opened and unfold- 
ed, feem not in their promifes to reach' 
beyond the grave } the bleffings contained 
in their predications flop Ihort of eternity ; ' 

* 2 Tim, i. 10. e I y/j,^ j^.^ g^ 



they all appear to tend to, center and ter- 
minate in, that a-n-QKA-m^cis 7mv\uv ^ that ref- 
titution of all things, which St. Feter af- 
fures us God hatbfpoken by the mouth of all 
his holy prophets f nee the world began ; ^for 
'which the earneji expeSiation of the creature 
waiteth ; to which the whole creation, ani- 
mate and inanimate, fenfitive and rational, 
progreffively afpires. 

Some fragments of this doftrine ar6 to 
be found in both Jewifli and Heathen an- 
tiquity. It was a favourite dogma of the 
eaftern and greek philofophers, efpecially 
thofe of the Pythagorean and Platonic 
fchools J from the laft of which the period 
in which it was expected to happen was 
called the Platonic year ^ An opinion, faid 

' J3s iiLzi. 8 Rem. v'm. 19. 

'' It was likewife held by the Stoia ', and indeed its uni- 
verfality has been incOivteftibly proved by an ingenious 
writer of our own in his learned, though fanciful, i/jeory of 
the netxi bea-vens and the nenu earth. From whatever fource 
it was derived to the more ancient philofophers, the later 
Romans in all ptpbability borrowed it from the Jews ; fince 
Virgil, in his famous Eclogue affigns to it the very fame pe- 
riod that the Jews did, viz.— /^e ad'vent of the MeJ/iah : 
though the Jews by fo doing evidently coi^found the two 
advents menftoned by their prophets. 

. ' G 2 to 


to have been handed down from EHas, 
prevailed much among the Jews that this 
blefled ftate would take place and he ac- 
compliflied in the feventh millenary ; and 
of this feptenary ilate of reft, joy, and 
triumph they conceived their '"-fabbath to 
be figurative, libe SabbatB, faith Zoar on 
Genefis, The Sabbath what is it ? A figure 
of the land of the living, i. e. of' the world 
or age to come, the age of fouls, the age of 
confolcrtiom, meaning thereby, according to 
the known idiom of the Jewifh language, 
the days of the Meffiah ; who was always 
fpoken of by them as tbe canforter and the 
confolation of Ifraei. The ffbfervation of the 
Sabbath, fays' ^ another great mafVer in 
Ifraeh is founded upon faith in God ; far no 
one win abjer^e the Sabbath, except he that 
confejfes that the world will be renovated, and 
that he will renovate it who created it out of 

Ipfe opifex rerumi. mundi mdioris origo ; 
as the ' Roman mythologiit, not without 

* See mitby on HeB. i>. g. 
^ D. Kimchi on I/. Ivi. 6. 
' Ovid.Metam, 1. i. 



copying after fome Jewi/b original, very 
exprefsively ililes him. 

But the 'Jubilee, or fabbath of years, 
being the greateft of the typical revolu- 
tions vvas therefore looked upon as more 
particularly figurative of, the grand Sakia- 
tifm of the people of God, The MeJJiah, 
cry all the Rabbies with one voice, re' 
deemeth on a 'Jubilee. " In a Jubilee the She- 
cbinah will be redemption, ranfom, and end- 
ing of fabbatijrn to Ifrael. Accordingly if 
the computation made by Archbifhop VJher 
be a juil one, it was on a year of Jidilee, 
the very lafl before the total deftruAion of 
the Jewifh polity, that our blefled Saviour 
preached the glad tidings of falvation. Oa 
that year he entered upon his prophetk: 
office, and having read, in the iyn^gogue 
the paffage out of the prophet Jfaiab 
which I have before recited, and whkh 
defcribes the Mejfiah as proclaimup^ the 

" Zoar on Gen. See Sifhop Petricl^s Commentary on Levit, 
2;. Zoar or Zohar is a cahsliftical commentary on the law, 
to which the Jews afcribe great antiquity making it older 
than the Talmud. It is howevea" by fojne learned men fup- 
pofed to have been written by R. Perett in die 13th cen- 

G 3 Jubilee, 


Jubilee, he (hut the book and faid, 'ihk 
day is this Jcripture fulfilled. 

; The Jubilee was the moft confiderabl? 
of all the folemnities. which God enjoined 
to the Ifraelites. It was a yenr, of reji, 
they were neither to fow nor to reap ; of 
liberty, all flaves were releafed j of rejlitu- 
iion of every thing to its prijline fate, all 
debts were remitted, and all lands how- 
ever alienated reftored (o their original 
proprietor. It began on the day of expia- 
tions, a day of- failing, humiliation, and 
confeflion of fins; therefore a time of 
penitence : " it brought men back, fays Mai- 
monides, to their primitive fate whic/j is the 
eff'eSi of repentance. And who' knows not 
that repentance is the firft evangelical duty ? 
It was the fum and fubftance of what our 
Saviour's fore-runner preached as prepara- 
tory to the reception of the gofpel, ' re- 
pent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; 
what our Saviour himfelf firft enjoined 
^ repent and believe the gofpel: it is alv^ayg 

" Maim, de poena, c. 7, See Voijin dejulilieo.. 
<> Matth.m. 2. '"'■ ^, Marii. i^'/ 

' men- 


mentioned previous to the remiflion of fins 
as an indifpenfible condition for obtaining 
mercy, it behoved, fays St. Luke, ^ that 
repentance and remijjion of Jins Jhould be 
preached in his name. The analogy between, 
the remijjion of debts in the Jubilee and the 
remijjion of Jins under the gofpel covenant 
is obvious to every underftanding ; and the 
releafe of alL flaves, the total celTation of 
the toil and labour of agriculture, and the 
reftoration of every man to his poffeffions, 
tribe, and family, were plainly fymbolical 
of that acceptable year (f the Lord, where- 
in man was to be delivered from the fer- 
vitude he was held under by fin and Sa- 
tan, and refliored to all the blefllngs which 
had been loft by the fall. If a Hebrew 
had fold himfelf to a ftrang'er or profelyte,. 
even he had the benefit of the Jubilee ; 
but a price was to be paid for his re- 
demption, by himfelf if he was able j if 
not, ' one of his brethren, fays the law, may> 
redeem him. ' 'this Redeemer, fays R. Be- 
chai, is the Mejjiah the Jon of David of the 

« Luke xxiv. 4f , . ' Levit. xxy. if%, 

f Pfirici. ibid. 

G A. tribe 


iriie of Judah, that blefled Redeemer, 
who to free us from the obligation of the 
\vff became obedient to the law, and 
therefore condefqended to take our nature 
upon him that he might have a legal 
right, the right of canfanguinity, to re- 
deem us. 

The reftoration of every part of nature 
in confequence " of this redemption, thus 
fhadowed out under this folemnity, is 
clearly and Without all ambiguity predidt- 
ed by all the prophets. " * The kingdofti 
♦* of Chrifi in this world being arrived to 
<* its full extent and growth j truth and 
*• peace, charity and juftice, the true faith, 
** the fincere piety, the generous and un- 
f afFedted virtue which Chriftianity teaches 
" and prefcribes, {hall reign and flourifti 
" over all the earth." ' He that is left in 
^ion and he that remaineth in JerufalemJhalL 
be caU'sd holy, even every one that is written 
among the living in Jerufakm : " the peo^e 
JhaU h all righteous ; * t^e iniquity of Ifrael 

• iS<-fl//'5 Chriflien Ufe. " If. iv. 3. 

* J/. Ix. 21. f Jeretn, 1. 20. 


fi)&ll be fought for i and there Jhall be none i 
and thejins of Judahj and they Jhall not be 
found; ^ for God mil fet his fanSiuary in the 
midjl of them for evermore ; his tabernacle 
Jhall be alfo with them, and he will dwell 
with them, and he will be their God and 
they Jhall be his people. 

When man is thus reftored to his origi- 
nal holinefs, the earth like wife will recover 
its original fertility j for as it was curfed 
with man fo will it alfo be blejfed with 
man. ' 'The wildernefs and fditary place Jhall 
he glad, and the defert Jhall rejoice and bloffbm 
as the rofe : * the plowman Jhall overtake the 
reaper, and the treader of grjapes him that 
foweth the feed : ^ the mountains Jhall drop 
new wine, and the hills Jhall fhw with milk: 
" God will hear the heavens, and they Jhall 
hear the earth, and the earth Jhall be(ir the 
corn, and the wine, and the oil. With ;th;s 
outward profperity are always joined uni- 
verfal benevolence, peace, and harmony j 
and the whole is attributed to an increafe 


y Exeeh. xxxvii. 26, 27. 

* If. XXXV. I 

» Am.ix. 13. 

* >/iii. 18. 

' Ho/, ii. 21, 22. 


of knowledge in the duties of religion and 
advancement in the pradice of holinefs. 
^ TO^ey Jhall not hurt nor dejiroy in all my 
holy mountain, for the earth Jhall be full of 
the knowledge of the Lord as the waters, 
cover the fea j for the work of rigbteoufnefs 
Jhall be peace, and the effeB of right eoufnefs 
quietnefs and ajfurance for ever. 

Thefe paflages were underftood in their 
natural and literal meaning, not only by 
the Jews, but 'by the moft learned and 
orthodox Ghriftians in the ages immedi- 
ately following the apoftles ; 'but the lite- 
ral interpretation and the dodrine con- 
tained in it at length loft ground, the 
profeffors of it having the odious charge 
oifudaifm fixed upon them by fome warm 
men, who were too fond of introducing 
on all occafions allegorical and fpiritual 
refinement. But why did they not charge, 
St. Peter likewife with fudaifm, who 
writing to the Jews declares in plain terps 

* If. xi. 9. — ^xxxii. 1 7. 

' Papias, Jt^in Martyr, Irmxus, -Afoll^varl^s, Tatulliatt, 
f^iSor, Laf^antius. 
f See Mr. Mede. 



his expectation of this blefled ftate ? God 
had faid by his prophet Ifaiah, ^ BehoU I 
create a nemo heaven and a new earth ; and 
the apoftle clearly confefTes his under- 
ftanding him according to the plain and 
natural import of the words, when fpeak- 
ing of the real and fubftantial changes 
brought by the Lord upon the material 
world he adds, '' But according to his pro- 
mife we alfo do exfeSl new he aliens aJid a new 
earth. Why was not the fame objedtion 
made to St. yohn, who ** in a plain and 
••; fimple narration free from allegory and 
*? involution of prophetical figures," not 
only alludes to but quotes the defcription 
given by the prophet of the happinefs of 
this renovated world ? * They Jhall hunger 
no more, neither jthirjl any more — God Jhall 
wipe away all tears from their eyes, and 
there jhall be no more death ^either forrow , 

8 If, Ixy.i'j. In \5rhat fenfe the Jews underftood this 
prophecy is plain from R. Saadiah Gaon as quoted by Dr. 
(nitby on 2 St. Pet. iii,' 13. Jn the end of the luortd there 
Jhall be to toe Jews a luorldfull of joy cind exultation^ fo that 
their heaven and earth Jhall he as it tvere nenv,. 

I" 2 Pet. iii. 13. 

' IJi XXV, 8.-r-xlix. 10. — Ixv. 19, Revel, vii. ij.— 


io8 a E R M O.N III. 

nor crying, neither jhall there be any more 
fain. There cannot be plainer words or 
expreffed in a more ordinary manner j and 
yet they muft be allegorized before the 
removal of thofe infirmities under which 
nature labours can be denied. Thofe that 
do it feem to me to be guilty of the 
fame error with the Jews by applying that 
to the ^Jirjl which is meant of th&fecond 
coming of Chriji -, with this difference 
however that whereas the 'Jews will admit 
of no Mejjiah whofe reign does not entirely 
confift of external fplendor and temporal 
power ; thefe Chrijiians on the contrary 
banifh from their idea of Chriji's kingdoxia 
every circumftance that does not exadtly 

* The old prophets (for the moft part) fpeak of the 
coming of Chriji indefinitely and altogether without that 
diftjnftion of the firjl and jSrW coming which the gofcel 
cut of Daniel hath taught us. And fo confequently they 
fpake of the things to be at Chrijl'& coming indiefini*e!y 
and altogether j which we, who are now more fully in- 
formed by the revelation of the gofpel of a twofold com- 
ing, muft apply each of them to its proper time ; thofe 
thmgs that befit the ftate of his /5r/? coming unto it, and 
fnch things as befit the ftate of ^hfecond cojning unto his 
fecond ; and what befits both alike may be applied unto 
both. Mede. This diftinftion is 'remarked and ui|;ed by 
Jujiin Martyr in feveral parts of his dialogue with Trypho n 


SERMON ill. 109 

coincide with the mean and lowly appear- 
ance of the fdn of mart. But why {hould 
the prophecies concerning our Saviour's 
abafement and humiliation be always taken 
literally, and thofe thait foretel his exalta- 
tion and glorious appearance be never un- 
derftood but in iijtgurative fenfe ? Ought 
we not rather, as we have feen the former 
piindtually verified, be from thence in- 
ipired with hope and confidence that the 
latter likewife will in God's own time be 
exactly accompliflied ? Far be it from me 
to fuppofe that there is no fpiritual mean- 
ing couched under the letter -, but while 
we altegorize every pafl!age, and confine all 
the prophecies abfolutely and without ex- 
ception to the firft advent of Chrifi, are we 
not in fome meafure partakers of the crime 
of thofe ^fe&fferi who St. Peter tells xxsjhall 
come in the laft days,- faying. Where is the 
promife of hi^ coming ? forfnce the fathers 
fell afteep all things continue as they were 
from the beginning of the creation ? * do we 

' 3,4. . 

° See univ. hiji. vol. iii. p. 39.— il(/?^e's towki, p. 670. 
To fuppofe diofe pfopheci'6» (which fbfecd the <tiifibiUty 
and univerfality of Cbrifi's church, accompanied luith perfeS 
pMct, prffperity and helinefs, and thofe which foretel the 



not by fo doing join iffue with the Jews/ 
and confirm them in their obftinacy and 
infidelity ? 

Very different was the Apoftle's method 
of arguing with them — " repent ye and be 
converted «V tb k^a,Ket(pB''*ivoij\ to^ kfjuafTlA? v/Am 
for the blotting out of your Jim oTruff civ that fo 
tjhe times of refrejhing^xi^as of reft or 
con^fort may come from the prefence of the 
Lord, and that he may fend Jefus Chrijl, 
which before was preached unto you, whom ■ 
the heavens muji receive until the times of 
*' reflitution of all things." Thefe times 
are here as in all the writings of the 

jlourijhing fiate of the Jewp church and nation) to have al- 
ready received their utmoft completion is, in my judge- 
ment, to give too great an advantage to the Jews and in 
effeft to acknowledge that they never were, nor will be 
fuliilled in their natui(al and ob-vious fenfe. Whereas on the 
other fide to affert that many prophecies- relating to the 
Mejjiah are already fulfilled in owe Lord Jefus Chrijl — and . 
withal to maintain that feveral others relate to his fecond 
coming and their accomplifliment ftiall uftier in or accom- 
pany that his glorious appearance.-^I fay, the obferving 
this diftinftion-cffeaually anfwers all the arguments which 
the Jenus. make ufe of to fupport themfelves in jheir incre- 
dulity ; it difcovers a perfeft harmony and correfpondence 
between the prophecies of xh^^ld and sew teftament, &c. 
Loiuth's preface. 3 

" JUsili, 19, &c. %etMede, Hammond, Raphelius. 



prophets made to coincide with the com- 
ing of Chriftt and defcribed as the eiFe<5t 
and confequence of the repentance, and 
converfion of the Jews j upon which the 
gentiles flowing in " all the ends of the world 
Jhall remember and turn unto the Lor d^ and 
all the kindreds of the. nations Jball worjhip 
before him. That this flourifhing eftate of 
the church was not abfolutely and fully to 
take place at our Saviour's firft coming, is 
evident from his inftru(9:ing his difciples 
to pray to God that his kingdom might 
come i for " that which is to come may 
" indeed be in its progrefs, but has not 
** yet attained to . that ftate of perfedlion 
** which it is to have." But that it will 
take place before the refurreftion is^ I 
think, likewife evident j becaufe St. Paul 
tells us that immediately after the refur- 
redtion ^ Chriji Jhall deliver up the kingdom 
to God, even the father. 

Then indeed will be totally cofnpleated 
that glorious fcheme of redemption, which 
has been gradually working ever fince 

• Pf. xxii. 27. ' 1 Cor, XV. 24. 

/ man's 


man's unhappy fall: God, v/hofe '^ f^ndef 
mercies are over all his works t has never 
ffi^fgotten that upon a review of them he 
was pleafed to pronounce them to be 
good ; he will reftore them all to their 
primitive beauty and perfeftion ; but 
above all will he remember man the lord 
of the ereation< and reinftate him in the 
full pofleffion of that happinefs, and thofe 
high privileges which he enjoyed during 
his innocence j with this gracious addi-* 
tion th?tt, whereas eternal life vf»i only 
implied in the covenant of nature, it is in 
the covenant of grace through the fufFer- 
ings and merits of Our blefled SaViour 
clearly revealed and exprefsly promifed : 
for ' moherejin abounded grace did much more 

*Jlie capacities of man as an individual- 
are progreffivej fo are thofe of human 
nature taken coUedlively j and 'God has 
always been pleafed to accomfnoddte his 
difpeniations to this' law of progreffion : 

' Ff. cxlv. 9. '""" ' Rom. V. 20. 

* See my late learned and pious friend Dr. DurM's dif- 
fertation on the charafter of the ^triarch Abraham. 


S E R MO N IIL ^ 113 

he brings mankind fram nature to grace, 
from grace to glory. We (to bring at laft 
this difcourf© to ourfelvea) are in a ftate 
of grace, in a middle ftate between nature 
and glory, ajjd therefore though ftill in a 
great degree fubjecft to the infirmities of 
thei pne, yet at the fame time enlightenedi 
with fome rays reftedted from the other. 
We have received the gift of faith "^ the 
firfi fruits lif the fpmt -, yet much of cor- 
mptip^n cleaves to usj our original fin, 
though pardoned, is as yet but imperfedt- 
ly purged : we are not yet arrfved to that 
blefled ftate which is promifed, when all 
evil both natural and moral ihall be to-^- 
tally removed ; yet that they are greatly 
abated no one can deny without doing 
violence to his own experience compared 
with the hiftoricts of former times. The 
earth, thanks be to God, bears her fruit 
in due f^afon, neither does the general' 
face af it bear many marks of that curfe 
whi?h prevented it " when it was tilled 
fr^m Ridding ber Jiren^th. Though the 

* Rom. viii. 23, " Gert. iv. iz. 

H praftice 

114 SERMON m. 

pradilce of univerfal righteoufnefs, whieli 
is the defign of the gofpel, is far from 
bqing eftablifhed j we do not however 
find that mankind in general gives into 
thofe abominable exceffes, of which, to 
the difgrace of human nature, hiftory 
hoih facred and profane' records fuch. fre- 
quent examples. That the influence of 
Chriftianity with regard to its moft dif- 
tinguifliing charafter is not totally loft, 
that fpirit of benevolence which is vi- 
fible in our public inftitutions is among 
feveral others an illuftrious proof. That 
increafe.of all and efpecially oi facred 
literature, for which every age becomes' 
more and more confpicuous, and which 
cannot in this place without the higheft 
ingratitude be pafTed over in filence ; that 
knowledge of God, of his works, and 
of bis Jaws, which a Chrijlian of a mo- 
derate capacity and refledtion has in a 
degree greatly fuperior to the deepeft 
philofopher of paganifm, are a happy pre- 
lude and pledge of thofe more enlighten- 

SE R M O N< HI> tis 

ed days, when "^ t&e earth Jloall be full of 
the knowledge of the Lord as theAmoaten 
cover the fea ', ^for they i fhall know me 
from the leaf of them unto the greatef sf 
them^ faith the Lard, . :ra „f.rf at! 

, . i ic.n 'I>^' 

Who does not feel, a confcious dignity 
and a laudable ambition of proceeding. 
''from firength to ftrength, "^ front glory to 
ghryt at the very idea of that high ex- 
cellence with whjch the nature he par-, 
takes of will be ennobled ? If however 
any fhould, upon the reiJeftion of his 
own perfonal inferiority, find humiliat- 
ing and mortifying thoughts acife; Jet 
him compare his condition with that: of 
thofe whojived in, former ages ; of :thofe. 
who are not yetj enlightened by. ' the 
fun of righteoufiefs, ■ who even now ^ft 
in darknefs mid in 'the. jhadow of death,. 
and he will find abundant matter of con- 
folation, joy,,and triumph: let him re-. 

* i/: xi. 9. * Jer. xxxi. 34. 

I' Pf. Ixxxiv. 7. ^2 Cor. iii. 18. " ' ' ' "'' 

Mai. iv. 2. •• Luke i. 79. 

H 2 colled 

ii6 S E R M ON III. 

coikdl; that as " God adapts his revela^ 
tioiis to the capacities of mankind in 
general, fo likewife does he his demands 
to the abilities of individuals ; that, if 
he has not granted him perfedion, he 
will not exadt perfedtion ; that, provided 
his intention is upright and his obedi- 
ence fincere, his great creator will through 
the pow^erful merits and intereeSjoin of 
his redeemer overlook his defeds, par- 
don his failings, and by the preventing, 
ftrengthening, and fandlifying grace of 
his holy fpirit enable him to perform 
an acceptable duty. If he does not in 
this , world converfe with thofe only 
^^mbick'.are 'written in the lamBs hook af 
life; ii he feels anxiety, pain, ficknefs 
and other harbingers of his approach- 
ing diffolution, let him remember that 
to a true Chriftjan death is a pafTage 
unto life, ' unto the city of the living God, 
the heavenfy yerufalem, and to an inmi- 

dor. har.fab.h v. C. II. ' y\ 

* Rev. xxi. ?7. * Heh. xii. Z2, 23, 24. 

' meralk 


merahle company of angels y to the general 
ajfembly and church of the Jirji born which 
are written in heaven, and to God the 
judge of all, and to the fpirits of jut men 
made perfeB, and to Jefus the mediator of 
the new covenant. 

[ "9 ] 


E P H E 8. i. 

Blejj£d be God and the father of our Lord 
Jefus Chriji, who hath hlejfed us isith 
all fpiritual blejjings in heavenly places in 

A Seeming or real obfcurity in the ori- 
ginal has given occafion to feveral 
different interpretations of the latter 
part of this padage. The words, in the 
explaining of which learned men dif- 
agree, are sv ,"«• tiTnifeui'ms Xpt<ra, exprefled 
in our verfion by in heavenly places in 
Chriji. Some by the words wTy hrev^vteis 
underiland heavenly things not places i 
H 4 meaning 

120 S E R M O N IV. 

meaning either the fupernatural gifts then 
imparted to the church, or that ftate of 
immortality ifi heaven to \A;^hich we hope 
to be exalted through Chriji. But this ex- 
pofition makes no diftindtion between this, 
word and the ivT^xyla, i-'mnvf^A^K^ fpiritual 
blejjin^s juft before mentioned. Befides 
the Apoftle conftantly ufes the word to 
fignify heavenly places not things \ and in 
this very epiftle in three different paffages, 
where the context unqueftionably confines 
it to this fenfe.. Thus in the twentieth 
verfe of this chapter, he raifed him from the 
dgttd find Jit him at his own tight hand 
6V TOK movf^vleis in heavenly places j and in 
tji^ Jh^h Verfe df the next chapter, hMh 
raifed us together and made us Jit iGgether 
iv Tots iTTov^ctviotg in hcuvenly places ; and in 
\}a&: tenth verfeof :the //6/r^chapter> to the 
inimt: ,tkat now is the printip&iities and 
f^Wrt iv Teif iTTbvfcivm? *' in heavenly placee" 
mighfii>e, known By .the. church thimitHiflM 
%<d0sm -^ God. A hd .this o bfervatioft- Will 
lea4,«s to the true meaning of a paralJel 
e'lfpr^flion in th« 'eighteenth verfe of this 
ch^^ii^-T^the eps of pur underjlanding be- 
ing edi^htimd thki ye may know *what is 
. ' ' the 

SERMON' IV. i2t 

tbi hope of >kk i:aiiing, and Hvhat the t'kbes 
tf tht ghrj <ef his inAeritafivt ev tik kyioig 
hot m the JiliHts, as our Vet^fion has it, but 
in tk>e Miy. places, L e. 'hbW glorious an 
ksheritanGfe is purchafed for us in hekveil. 
Bat to returh— There at6, who rriake the 
words in Chriji to be emphatical and -ex- 
preflive of that guthriHg together (as it is 
called in verfe the tenth) compadting and 
uniting together dl people, Jews arid 
Gentiles fe>v^';tes in One chutch of which 
he i« the head; * Others again think that 
the dative x^^a» is put inftead bf the geni- 
tive x^i^'o/ by an ellipfis of the participle 
oZs-i, making the Words tots eirovpmms x^^a 
equivaknt to Tsis iTroiJjm'nits reTr eSiw x^jva 
heavenly things of Ghrijt or behnging unto 

Ali thefe Interpretations contain ffiuftd 
truth, but do not feem to me to exptefs 
tht Apoftlfes mfe^ning. The paffage indtcd 
I take to be elliptical i but I think that 
the ellipfis Ihould be fi!|ipliei not with 

» Rafhliiai&etAs to adopt this opinion, And brlBg^au- 
thorities for it; but I dO' hot thitik "that any of his ex- 
amples are fully to the point. 



«i5« but 'Ovlt. BIeJfe4 be God And the father 
of our Lord fffus Chrifi, n»ho hafh bleffed us 
'wit ' all fpiritual blefjings through Chrifi 
h ms hrsufAvlots . ovU after, or, in confequence 
of his afcenfion into heaven. Whilft he was 
on earth, the hplyfpirit (as we are told by 
•"St. John) was not yet, beedufe Jefus was 
not yet glorified. But when, upon his af- 
cenfion an,d feffion at the right hand of 
God, he took the full and complete exer- 
cife of the offices confe^uent upon his 
meciiatorial kingdom, he then by his mi- 
niilry and intercefiion obtained whatever 
was ijeceflary for the comfort, inftrudlion, 
a.nd fupport of his church. .'Being exalt-^ 
ed^o the right hand of God {idy^ St. Peter 
on the day of Pentecoji) and having receiv- 
ed of the father the promife of the. Holy. 
Ghojl, he hath Jhed forth this which you 
mm fee find hear. This had been predift- 
ed by the royal prophet. * Thpu haft af- 
cended on high j thou haft led captivity cap" 
tive } thou hafi received gifts for men. And 
this prophecy our Apoflle in this very; 

^ John:^u 39. = ABs\\. II. 

. * 9f. \vna.. 18. 


S E R MO N IV. 123 

epiftle applies to the gracious difpenfation 
of the holy fpirit after our Lord's trium- 
phant afceniion, which it is obfervable 
that he mentions as of neceffity preceding 
the grant of fpiritual gifts,— -'^^ qfceHdid 
ttp far abavt all heavens that he might Jill 
all things. 

Thefe bleffed effeds of C-6^'s glorifica- 
tion are by our Apoftle in one place called 
' the fir ft fruits of the fpirit, in anothfef 
^ihe eartieft of the fpirit, sLnd in this chap- 
ter more emphatically ftill ^*the earfieft of 
our inheritance. Now sthefe' terms firjl 
fntits and earneji. plainly intimate that the 
divine communications and comforts of 
the fpirit, with which fincere Chriftians 
are favoured in this worlds are in their 
nature fimilar, however inferior in degrise, 
to thofe , thkt fhall hereafter conftitute our 
happinefs in heaveii. As 'there is a two- 
fold redemption, fo is there like wife -a 
twofold beatitude: the jiS>y? redemption, 
cpnfifting of abfolution ftom the guilt and 

" .Sphtf.'w. 10. r '-■', ^ Bow. viii; aJjr 

? z Cor.i. 2z, * V. 14., 

', I) condem*- 

124 3 E R M O N IV. 

condemnation of paft fin», we erijoy in 
this life ; the fecond, being an advancd* 
ipent to a ft&te of ihcorruption and itrf*^ 
BioMalityi we exped: through faith and' 
hope. The fandiification of our mindsy^ 
being in thfe beft of us here on earth only 
initial and incomplete^ is attended with 
only an initial and incomplete happinefs'; 
yet are they both a preparation for, a ten- 
dency unto, a J prelude and foretafte of 
their completion and perfection. They 
are< fays St. Pool, an ' eatnefi tf our -in- 
beritamee unlH the pur chafed poffeffiafit i. e» 
\!^^ ih^ Jkondfrdempiiem, when we fliall 
b^ put in pofi«ffi6n df the inheritance pur- 
dhftfed for us. ; 

Twice did Qbd by a voice from heaven 
teftify that our blelTed Saviour was his be- 
loved fon J at hifr "" Imptifm and ' transfigu- 
rathnu an unanfwerable argument againDi 
the fS^cmiatis who ppefuitieto aiTert that he 
waa firft made the foh of God' by his re- 
fUrredion. But the reafoh of my making 

• Epk/. i. 14. t Mittk iii. 17. Mark i. 1 1 . 

' Matt&. xvii. 5* Mtfri ix. 7. Luie ix. 35. 


S E R M O N IV. 12 j 

the obfervation at pr^feat is, becaufe the 
occafion of this twofold fupernatural de- 
claration of the dignity of our redeemer, 
&ems to me to have a l-^ei^ to the dif- 
tindliop I h^ve, after Others, made of a 
twofold ^^demption ; the firO: bceafion was 
his baptifmi when he was inaugurated into 
his prophetical office, and began to preach 
tl^ Jirfi ngde/npfion, remtffion ef^s: the 
fecond occadon of this divine teftimony, 
was his tpxmsjiguratimi when he was 
pkafed to give three of his difeiples a 
glimpfe and pledge of that fplendor, with 
which "" owr Vi^i?^^//?>j {hall be invefted 
when they ^x^fafhiomd tike imto his Vari- 
ous tody : i. e. at t\i& Jecond redemption,' 
when we fhall be releafed not only from 
the guilt but from the puniflMaent of fin ; 
for fin (hall be left buried ki the grave^ ' 
and the fool being purged and perfefted 
fhaii be joined to the body ipiritualtzed 
and &tted for a celeftial ftate ; and both- 
together enjoy eternar life. . .. 

With the^-& Jpiritual bI^^^s^'^t cota- 



pletion, of all bleflings,. has Qod mor6 paf- 
ticularly bkjfed us in eovjeqUence of Chri^'tt 
afc^njim into hea'veni , It is ^he exemplary- 
ailimilative caufe pf ours. As he died and 
rofe again for us, that " w^, by dying unto, 
fin, might be planted together in the likenefs- 
of his deathi and by henceforth living unto 
God, in the likenefs of his refurreBion j fo 
was he glorified that " we alfo might be glo- 
rified together. On the day of his afcen-^ 
fion he took ppfiTeffion of heaven for us 
" that vihere he'is we might be alfo* : ^ He is 
entered as our fore-runner, as the reprefen- 
tative of his church and people : for as 
the natural fo like wife the myjiical body as 
partaker of all the honours of its head ; 
his advancement is the advancement of us 
all, his afcenfion the furety of oUrs ; and 
therefore St. Paul to denote in the fl:rong- 
eft. manner their infeparable connexion 
triumphantly joins them together, and 
fpeaks of o»r exaltation as a thing already, 
accompliihed in confequence and virtue of 

. vi. 5. " 5o/». viii, 1 7. 

P Jahrnav. 3. 

fiti^j^Tui i Mtpghi jg 7» cSfigi, Chryf. inEfh, A. 3. 



the exaltation of Chriji ; ' be hath quicken- 
ed us together 'with Chriji, and hath raifed 
us up together and made us Jit together in 
heavenly places through Cbrip Jefus. 

To render the true and full underftand- 
ing of this doctrine more eafy and fami- 
liar, it may not be amifs to take a (hort 
view of that inftitution ^yhich was typical 
and figurative of it i and which our great 
Apoftle in his fublime epiftle to the He^ 
brews condantly appeals to as explanatory 
of this great myftery : and this I fhall do 
the more willingly, becaufe it will at the 
fame time illuftrate and confirm that main 
article of the Chriflian faith, that great 
fource and original of all Chriftian privi- 
leges — the vicarious puhi(hment of Cftriji" 
and the piacular virtue of his blood. 

We are told by St. Peter that ' the pro- 
phets — enquired andfearcbed diligently lahat 
or -what manner of time thefpirit of' Chriji 
which was' in them didjigntfy. By the^ro- 
phets here are in an enlarged and compre- 

' Ephtf. ii. Si 6f ' \ Pet- »• 10, i r. 


128 S E HMO N IV. 

henlive fenfe meant all xhs, faithful from 
the beginning of the world* to whom th& 
blefling of \}ci^<Me£iak wa§ promifed or 
revealed j all tjie patriarch who ' having 
feen the pfomifes afar off wefe perfuaded of 
them and (m^ra^ed them ia.sll thie true 
Ifraetites who may withpMt Impropriety be 
i^d to have believed in Chrif even before 
his coipjog : And this I Yf filjr believe ta 
be our Apoftle's meaning when he tells 
the Epheji(fns that the Jews w?pe " wpon^wi- 
mxi? kv T^ ^fii^^ 5 which words, taken ae!* 
qording to this tjieir pjaift and origintl 
import, iltongly mark a diftinftien made 
between the Jews gn4 the Gftitfilesi 
which diftindlion is entirely Joft . m our 
and other verfions-r--** "^ that "we Jhenldi bt 
to the praipi of hU glory" ^^'^ i^ff^' (Jews). 

* He6. xi. 13 

" nfct^m^at did poflbnt, et qui prius quam alii Tpergnt, 
et mi fp^tn, de ^iqiia re pia^cSpiu^t. Friorem &ntei!i^3m 
defepdit ^eza tanquam folam vfya^, alte?4H» prorfus rejl, 
ciens quse Amlmjii eft, ftatuentls A|)oftalos mjudai/mo qiio- 
qii« \r«ri^nt«; tamen fp^in ))« Qbrifto venturo, ut- 
pote quern ex prophetarum <)ract)lis expeflarint. PiilipgfflS 
eAifh Faiilus Jgdxos a Qentilibus hoc difcriniine, quod illt 
in Qiiri/h etiani venturo fp4m pof^Pripj, hi vero aate' ev8n-< 
gelium fuerint fine Chrtjlo, ut infra 2. iz. dicit ; hioa t^ 
KMfS Mteita x«eK Xfi«r5. Rttphel. in he. 


S E R M a N IV. 129 

"who hoped inChrift before his coming;" 
in- whom '* yt^ Gentiles J alio hoped afier 
" that ye heard the word of truth, the 
** gofpel of falvation." The yews, did 
hope in C6ri/l before his coming. * For 
the hope of Ifraelj fays St. Paul fpeakjng 
to them, / am bound with this chain : And 
to ''Agrippat^ (a prince expert in all cufioms 
and queftions which were among the yews) 
now IJiand and am judged for the hope of the 
promife made, of God unto our fathers ; unto 
which promife our twelve tribes infiantly 
ferving God day and night hope to come. 

God, having from the beginning oi 
time conceived in his eternal mind- the 
idea of the redemption, gave fallen man 
continual notices of it, reprefenting it 
under different figures and emblems j be- 
yond which and through which the be- 
lievers of old, according to the meafure 
of revelation granted them, looked for- 
wards to their fubftance, and firmly rely- 
' ing on the -veracity of God ^ obtained a 

* ASs xxviii. 20. 1 Aarnxvl. 3. 6, 7. 

' Heb. xi. 39. 

good ■ 


good report through faith though- 1^ receiv- 
ed not the premife. If they therefor-e, m 
thofe days of unc€rt-ainty, direfted their 
mind« through the obfcurity- of prefent 
fliadbws towards the light to come ; fiirdji' 
a Chriftian, on whom that light (hines ir> 
full glory, muft find a fingukr pleafflre vck 
throwing back his eye upon thofe models 
and portraitures of his falvation j the exadi 
likenefs of which in evQry minute cireum- 
ftance muft convince him that they were 
iketched out by the hand of God himfelf j 
that both the ftiadow and fubftance, the 
type and antitype, proceeded from him 
who is '^ Alpha and Omega, the beginning and 
the endi thefirfi and the hjl. 

The firft emblematical notice given of 
a future redemption, was undoubtedly by 
the inftitution of fecrifices j '^' which me- 
thod o^ worfhip, whaMver is alTerted' by 

» J?fi(«/j xjdi. 13. 

•» Seeamong others Shudfird. V., i;. , One woijldj tbinkt 
lays bifhop Patrick on Gene/, iv. 3. that Plato had {bme no- 
tion of this, when he forbids his lawgiver (in his Epitioimt'i 
to majce any alteration in the rites of, facriiicing, becaufe 
' fv ?»ii«T«» i'&»eij T»i &iiij)ii T reiiiTm -!!&f // is n^t fajjibh fur our 
mortal nature to kno'iu any thing about fuciLmatters. 


SERMON rV. 131 

men ftrangely averfe to any inifierpofitioa 
of the deityi has furely no foandation in 
nature, and therefore muft have besen fiig^ 
gefted by divine revdation.- It is pro^. 
bablev from the ufe we find made of them 
upon God's future treating with mankind^ 
that he was at their firft invitation plea&d 
to enter into a covenant with man, o£ 
which a facrifice wa£ the feaL and catifica-^ 
tion. That there were conditions, whicht 
are a neceflary part of a covenant, requir- 
ed of man ; and that one principal, condi- 
tion wTis faith can admit of no dnubt j for 
St. PazJ^ fpeaking of the £rft facrifice 
upon record, expre&ly ikysi that ' ^ faith 
Jthl c^red a more excelknt facrifice thun 
Cain. Now what i?, faith but a firjn re^- 
liance on the promifes of God ? and what 
had God prosQiTedi but a redeemer f Thus 
iherefcfre were fticrificea not only typical 
r^pr^fentations of the facrifijce-'of the pro*- 
mifed redefemer, whofe blood was ta be 
the feal of a new covenanrj but moneover, 
God's acceptance of them was a feera- 
mental fign and' pledge of his reconcilia^ 

'Nth. xi. 4. 
I 2 tion 

132 S E R M O N IV. 

tion to man through faith in him, the 
anticipating and retroaftive virtue of 
whofe blood would extend the benefits of 
falvation through all ages. ^ If thou doe/l 
•well, fays God to Cain, i. e. if thou of- 
fered thy facrifice from a true principle, 
Jhdlt thou not be accepted f j^nd if thou doejl 
not well, fh lieth at the door, i. e. thy fa- 
crifice (hall not make atonement for thy 

This praftice of fubfl:ituting an inno- 
cent animal in the room of the offender, 
was religioufly tranfmitted by Noah after 
the flood to all his defcendents, and ob- 
ferved univerfally by all nations, however 
they differed in other religious rites.. But 
its divine origin and typical defign beiag 
together with the other pans of patri- 
archal worfhip forgotten, God was pleafed 
to feparate a peculiar people for the pre- 
fervation of true religion and faith ; in the 
promifed faviour. With them he made a 
new covenant ratifying it with the ufual 
feal of facrifice, which he again exprefsly 

*• Genef. iv* 7; 



enjoined with fuch additional circuoi- 
ftances and ceremonies, ' as plainly denot- 
ed its expiatory quality and typical rela- 
tion to that grand atonement, of which 
it was intended to keep up a me- 

I might here run a parallel, which 
would be found to correfpond with the 
minuted exadtnefs, between all the parti- 
culars attending the legal facrifices ^nd 
that of our blefTed Saviour : but, as diofe 
c^ered on the great day of atonement 
had a more efpecial regard to- it,' I fliall 
content myfelf with confidering a few of 
the ceremonies then ufed ; which I hope 
will fufEciently explain and fully '^oflfii'm 
^e do(3:rines I have^ juil> now advanced. 

^Jaron{CiysGod himfelf) Jbail^ lay both 
Ms^harids upon the live goat, •and-wnf^iowr 
him all the inicluitiies of the cMldrefiiof IfrOel 
and^aUHkeir franfgf^ffiom in altfhar\fins, 
putting them upon the' head of at he^ goat, 

' See Oufram de Satrificiis, I. i. c. 18. and Berrimaits 
Sermons at Boylis LeBures. ^ ,' ^^' , 
^ Levit. xvi. 21. 

I 5 This 


Thtt iforni of impofition of haflds and 
coufeiGon of &nB. was ufed in all facri)&oe% 
aad is vjery fcscipreffiVc of transferring the 
6ns confeiTed upon the vi^im, and devoting 
it to bear the pimifliment of them. Upon 
all other occafions the vidtim thus loaded 
with guilt was brought to the altar, and 
lliain inliead of the offender : but on this 
i£ti6re f^lemn occafion two goats made up 
bat; one fin-offering : one of them was 
offered it .^crifice* the other was fent 
sffX/^ alive i by the firft was reprefejitdls 
oar Sai?i0i}r*$ beiE^ ^ddiverfd to death^ 
mr.'offenciSf- by the fecond his being raifed 

<• Ono^t day only did th'6 highi-prie^. 
and x^Qim' but him>i enter itito the hol^ of 
holies burning incenfe j and, having dip- 
jJed bii finger^ io tbe blood of the fevelral 
vi^ifBi? \«iffelred» ,be fprinkled it towards, 
tfeie toet;cy ifeat, and, pronounced a/demn 
blefling on tbji people uttering oti that 
Qccafioo ind n^other the peculiar and in- 
communicable name of God. We msy 

» 'Rom, iv. 25, 


S E R M O N IV. i35 

here firft obferve, tJijat it was not tijll after 
the expiation <?f himfelf, as ^well as Qfthti 
priefts and people, thait the high-|)ridl 
pi^fumed to enter into .th^ moft holy 
place : for there is an inCe^arable connee^ 
tion between holiiaef^ ^nd glory ;, to fct 
, which in the ftrongf ft light Ghf^ hits^dd 
o\ir gfc&t &igS-^ri0fi {though he had €ven 
during his flay upon earth an abiplpte in- 
herent holinefs, yet as he had taken our 
fins upo& himfelf, even he) eould j^ot, 
loaded as he was tlii^gk with ithputed 
inapurities^. eiiter into the true feioly of 
holies, till he had made that ftdl ai>d 
perjfed; rati£lad:ion for theEQ^ Vt^hich a« our 
furety he had under takea to is^kci* to th«6 
jyftice of pod : but a c'ompleAt atoaemc&t 
^ng, made, a&d >:jm put mmy ifrtkfip^ 
crijice of himfelf he entered, not into the holy 
places made with handf i&hich are ibefipttes 
of the true, hut into heaven itfelf now to ap' 
^m- in ihi prefence of Qbdfar uf. 

The inc^nfe offered, and the bleotl 
fpriiikled, were undoubtedly, fyfiabols of 

»^.ix, 36. 



C&ri/i's prefenting himfelf with his blood 
in the heavens, exhibiting in the prefence 
of God the merits of his fufferings, and 
together with them ' offering up (as the 
Angel of the covenant is reprefented to do 
in the Revelatiom) the prayers of the faints, 
rendering them acceptable to God* through 
his own efficacious mediation and inter- 

After the legal high-prieft had gone 
through all thefe fymbolical- ceremonies, 
he pronounced the folemn bleffing. — 
" JeWovaH blefs thee and keep thee. ]z-' 
noVAU make his face to JhinenpontBie and 
be gracious unto thee. Jehovah lif^ uf his 
countenance upon thee and give thee pedee. 
Whatfever myftery may be contained in 

v\i?«f«/vVi.ii. 3- '- ■'■.■urAii\. ;>irl. ^,.:t%/ .. ,-.\.s 

'' Niimh. vi. z^, zj, 26. Maxjme fivrv&ui^t, eft.<«»tf 
hominfe- JtheVit repetitie; ■ Pirima pericopa percbminbde re- 
fertur ad P«fr«»», de qjjo /'^jf&j fcribjt. Ephefi U'i- Dfus 
rt Pater. — qui BenedIxit nobis omni /piriiuali beneeliBioM 
in Chriflo, et cui Ci/nfimipfe dicit. yeH/. xvii. 11. Serva 
eos ttr.Aomen tuum.^ Altera pericopa ad, CJjtristum pertinet 
qui eft Lux mundi. Jo^.. viii. 1 2. Ultima pericopa, cum 
notet applicationeti? gratisE, et cointntinication^iri pacis ac 
gaudii, commode applicatur spiritui sancto per quem 
regnum Dei nobis efi juflitia et pax et gaudium. Ram, xiv. 17. 
Witfitts dt Sacerdotio Aarotiis et Chrijii. 

-'- '■ ♦' * the 

S E R M O N IV- 137 

the ufe, upon that particular day, and the 
trinal repetition of this facred name, as was 
fufpedted by the Jews themfelves j this 
however is very evident, that the atone- 
ment was not compleated, nor the people 
entitled to the bleffings to be conferred in 
confequence of it, till the blood of the 
vidtim was prefented before the mercy 
feat. And herein is fhadowed forth by a 
very appofite emblem the full and ulti- 
mate accomplifhment of the reconciliation 
obtained by the great expiatory lacrifice 
for the fins of the whole world. 

' 'the 'tabernacle, fay the Jews, is- a 
hook of mifdom to ihftruSi men in the. things 
ahoise. 'The ^adytumy or holy -of holies, 
fays *" ysjephus, which was rnacceffible- to 
the priefis, reprefented heaven where God 
dwelt. And this interpretation is undoubt- 
edly right. For, as the Apoftle argues, 
^ihe way into the holieji of all was not yet 
made manifeji while as the frjl tabernacle 
was yetjianding : but our high-prieji having 

' Buxt. hi ft. arc, " Jof. ant, 1. iji. c. vi. 4. 

■ Heb. X. 20. 


438 S E R M O N iV. 

confederated a new wayfw us the veil is rent| 
and heaven rendered, acccflabk to all be- 
Jievers. ° His facrifice of hiiaaielf was in* 
deed offered in this earthly ^ab^rnaclet 
but his facerdotal office was not fully dif- 
charged, till he had, by the pref^ntation 
of his blood, teftified that the atpnemen;t 
was adlu ally made zxid ^ the holy place ri-^ 
€onciled. Then were the ' everiqfiing doors 
of heaven opened, ^jjd together with the 
king of glory did every faithful believer 
even then virtually enter. 

But while we thus contend that heaven 
was rendered at:ceffible at our Lord's af- 
cen^on, let us not forget to afcribie this 
blefling in point of eficieM caufcdity to h^s 

• PontiFex JudjEorum et pontifex noft^r ^C/ij Chrijlus ; 
iahguis Jiirtoram fet Vhiiloruwi (eoruiii "UUque qui diebus 
exfiptivnis tti&8iihe,-ax{it) et fangiiis Ghifiii i8tjnitt% ady^ 
tanif et cesium fupsemum ; ac denique pontificis in ady- 
ttim iHud iirgreffus per Vidimaturti' eai-um "faflgiliherii, ti 
ingteSMS Chrifii in cxltai ijsfiwn fui ipfius fangijHjJiS vi ; .ut 
r«s adumbrantej et adumbratx inter ie mtitud conferufitur. 
Otttnm. I. i. c. 18. ' ' ' * 

' J>W/. xvi, zo. ,j ■,,:;'",.' 1 ' '5? 

' P/[ xxjv^. 7. "OtS (m tixfZf itni-vi Aj atitium «« r Afttth, 

«•«{ ztixtis T wtcMiai '-^yufittt Mart, fpeaking t)f ate Savi- 
our's refttrreiiion and a/cenfion. Dial, cum Trypk. p. 107, 



oblation -^pon the crofs ; of whidn his obi 
lation in heaven was the proof, the evi- 
dence, the credential. He thereby (to 
Ipeak after the manner of men) produced 
his tide-de^d, and took poiTefiion of the 
purchafed inheritance. The pric^ he paid 
for it was hi« blood. He was not only 
our j>n'e^: but our facr^ce. ' C-krtfl Jeve4 us 
and gav£ himfeif for us an offering and a ia-, 
crifice to God. He was not only our pro- 
pitiatcr but our propitiation^ ' God loved Us 
andjint hisfon to be the propitiation jf^r citr 
fim. He was not only our, redeemer but 
our r^nfrm. ' He gave iain^elf a ranfom^r 
all. Now fince by the Jewifli law, froip 
which thefe exprefilon« are taken, the £ns 
of- the offender were always transferred 
upon the facrifie j fince the facrifice thus 
fuffering inftead of the offender was called 
the propitiation i fince the confideration 
paid, to r^fcue the fir^-born from death, 
was called' the ronfom — what can the 
Apoflles mean, when they tell us that 
CbriH WAS our facrifice, .propitiatim^ and 

Efhef. V, a. ' i John iv. 10. 

* I Tm. ii, 6. 


»40 8 E R M O N IV; 

ranfom, but that our fins were transferred 
upon him, that he fuffered in our Jiead,! znA 
that his fuffering refcued us from death ? 
Every text in holy writ, which fpeal^s of 
bur redemption, confirms this dodtrine. 
" He redeemed usjrom the curfe being made a 
curje for us, "" he was made fn. for us, not 
that he contrafted any guilt, but having 
taken our fins upon him he underwent the 
punifliment of them, " which puniflimerit 
the law ftiled accurfed. We '' were not re- 
deemed with corruptible things, but with the 
precious blood ^of Chriji : for ' him 'Bath Gdd 
fetforth, [not, zs the followers of /Som^J 
jmpioufly aflert, merely as an exarhfile of 
holy life, and- to confirm by his death the 
truth of his dodrine, but) tb" be a ftopi- 
tiatfoji though faith in his blood. ''' 

The death of our Savioflr was iindoubt- 
edly a full and au thentic corifirmatibn of 
the truth df the gofpel, and bence it is 
called by St. Paul, * a gdod^'confkjtffn:: biit 
this end could hot furely be the only one 

" Galat. iii. 13. * 2 Ctr. v. 21. 

* Deuter. xxi. 23. _ ^ I Pet. i. 18, 19. 

» Rem. iji. 25. ' » i Tim. vi. 13. 

defigned ; 

S E R M O N IV. 141 

defignedi there muft. have been fome 
more cogent reafon to induce God to per- 
mit the fon of his bofom to undergo a 
cruel and ignominious death. The truth 
of the, gofpel was abundantly evinced by 
the miracles he pierfofmed, and the teflii- 
mony of i^U. the prophets iince the* world 
began, Jf thefe proofs were not fufficipnty 
^ would not however a difplay of his 
power by a miraculous defcent from the 
crofe have been a more lUuftrious confir- 
m^tipn, than fubmitting to the torments 
and ftiame of puni£hmcnt,? \i Chriji was 
onjy Xet forth as an example, what need 
was there of his death ? was not his doc- 
trine a fufficient ruje of life ? was not the 
whole tenor of his life inftrui3:ive and 
exemplary, a perfedl pattern of patience, 
mceknefs, courage, charity, purity, holi- 
nefs,.- and every virtue that conftitutes in- 
nocence .?, The blood of martyrs (hed in 
the canfe pf religion bore teftimony to the 
truth, and they have both in their lives 
^nd death fet us eminent examples of coo- 
> . i ' ' 

* If he be the king of Ifrael, faid the chief priefis witl\ 
the fcribes and elders, let him now come doiunfrom the crojs, 
and we ivi/l believe him. Matth. xxvii. 41, 42, 

, ftancy. 

142 SERMON tV. 

ftancy, humility, and other chriftian vir- 
tues. Yet in what part of fcripture are w« 
taught that their blood was fhed for us, or 
that we fhould build our faith upon them?' 
St. P^aui reprobates the idea with the 
higheft indignation. * Was Paul erucifad 
far you?: or were you baptimed in the name 
of Paai? * who then is Paul and who /ir 
Afollbv but miniferst for othen foundaikn^ 
can no man h^ than that is laidyi which is 

The death of our bkfled Saviour, taken 
abflradledly from every other confidCra- 
tion, does not feem to have any thing in 
it peculiar or extraordinary :> many hoJy 
men had before him, many hol^p men have 
fince, fuffered as cruel' and bloody a death. 
If there was therefore no myftery in his 
death and p^on, why are they (o oelei^, 
brated and magnified in the holy fcrip- 
tures ? If there was no Angular and fped- 
fic virtue in his blood, why is there, fuch 
an emphafis laid upon it throughout the 
whole word of God ? Surely there muft 

* I Cer. i. 13. ^ I Cor^m. 5, ii, 



have been fometbing peculiar in the * na- 
ture and defign of his fufFerings, which 
diftinguiflied them from all other fuffer- 
ings ; fome fecret quality in his blood, to> 
©ccafi&n fuch peculiar notice, fuch parti- 
cular marks and chaTatfcers to accompany 
conftantly the mention and description o^ 
k. Why did our Saviour himfelf with fb 
much folemnity inftitute and recommend 
the facramerrt, as a memorial of his body 
broken and blood fhed ? Why are there 
promifes of fuch extraordinary bleflihgs 
annexed- to the worthy participation of the 
facfam^Mal, if there was no extraordinary 
virtue, no important myftery in the real 
flefh and blood, whereof the one was 
broken the other fhed upon the crofs ? 

The fcriptures explain this myftery j 
there we are taught that his fufFerings 
were vicarious, his blood fiacular y ^ he 
leafiied us from ourjitis in His own bibod', ^ he 

e Very expreffive is that ejaculation in the 'greek litufgies 

S^ T a/yia^nm-inv w»3»ii**t«> t>iin<n,i iifiMt, Xgii«f : By thy ViU.- 
knovm/ttjirings, O Chriji have mercy upon m,, '■ 

^ Revel, i. 5. 8 UiJ, V, 5. 


144 SERMON I¥. 

redeemed us to God by his blood: ^ he 'was 
wounded for our tranfgreffions ; he was bruif- 
ed for our iniquities j the chajlifement of our 
peace was upon himt and with hisjlripes are 
we healed i all we like jheep had gone ajlray, 
and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniqui- 
ties of us all. Of thefe iniquities his death 
was piacular j for them he underwent the 
accumulated wrath, and fatisfied the infi- 
nite juftice of God. Hence he is faid 
■* his own f elf to have born ourfns in his own 
body on the tree, ^ to have given bimfelf for 
our fins, ^ to have died for our fins. And, 
to make us more eafily apprehend this 
myllery, he is compared to the propitiatory 
facrifces under the law, which were al- 
ways underflood ^ to make atonement for 
the fins of him who offered them. Now 
this virtue of theirs reafon and the nature 
of things mull teach us could only be 
iymbolical : for, as St. Paul juftly argues, 
' it is not pojjible that the blood of bulls and 

■> If. liii. 5. ' I Pet. ii. 24. 

^ Galat. i. 4. ' I Cor. xv, 3. 

" Le'vit. i, 4. 

° Hei. X. 4. Even our learned Spencer himfelf, vvho is 
fo ftrenuous an advocate for the iuman inftitution of facri- 
fices, is forced to acknowledge that hutnana menti, natura 


"of goats ^ould take away ^ns. If this iis 
true, and it is moft evidently fo, how 
could reafoft prompt man to make ufe of 
a method for the expiation of his fins, 
which that very reafon murt: aflure him 
was of itfelf inadequate td theefffcft? But 
the,effe<9: itfelf was likfewife fymbolicai. 
The deliverance they effei^ed was only 
from temporal death ; and the privileges 
ihey bbtained were merdy ctre^onial, the 
tight of joining in the- public worfliip and 
approaching the fan€lWary. But, as tb€y 
had a refped: to the facrifice of Ghrifi.t)^6it 
antitype aAd fubftance, they from that re »■ 
lation acquired* a degree of fuperior excel* 
lenee : the legal parity, the admiffion to 

dimna fckntia mel h'viter imbuta, manjfefium eft facrtficio per 
fe fpeitato nihil' in^e, unde ullo apud Deum inpretioe£ipoJfet. 
Nothi'rig, I tMfik, daft be plainer thaw 'that Gmi appointed 
^Ammals to be offered as figures and reprefehtajipns of the 
facrifice of the Mefliah, whafe blood was to atone for the 
Ens of the who!te ^vofld; Atid Ii'eiice the reafon vAy'uhfo 
Cain and his 'ojffmpg God had not refpe.&. Gene/.iw. 5. His 
offering was of the fruit of the ground, bkodlefs ; and there- 
fore Could not be accepted : lor iK/iihoUt blood th&i ca:n be no 
i-ederhptkn. Heb. ix. 22. Neither therefore could Gftza him- 
felf be accepted ; for not having faith in the promifes or 
Ood he brought a different offlwih^ frotn tJiat which he 
had appointed ; an offering which, having no typical rela- 
tion to the one great offering, could not entitle him to the 
benefits annexed to thbie -eiil;^ that had that relation. 

K the 

146 SERMON 'IV. 

the holy place> and deliverance from tem- 
poral death, became reprefentatives of the 
fpiritual purity, the accefs unto God, and 
the title to eternal life purchafed for us by 
the precious blood of Chriji. ° For if the 
blood of bulls and of goats — JanBifieth to the 
purifying of'thefiejhi how much more Jliall 
the blood of Cbrtji purge the conjcience f 

Though I have already taken up fo 
much of your time, I muft ftill beg your 
patience and attention to an inference or 
two ; whofe great importance, and clofe 
connexion with the dodtrine I have en- 
deavoured to confirm* will not fufFer me 
entirely to neglect and pafs them over in 

It is evident, from moil of the pafTages 
which • I have cited, that the redemption 
wrought by the blood of Chriji is umver- 
fal. It is the conftant and uniform lan- 
guage of fcripture j and yet it cannot be 
true if, according to the Socinians, Chriji 
was fet forth only as a teacher of truth 

" Heb. ix. 13, 14. 


S E R M O N IV. 147 

and an example of holinefs ; for then he 
could have no retrofpe<ft to paft genera- 
tions i that truth could be profefled, and 
that example followed, by thofe only 
to whom they were propofed. But, ^hat 
comfort could our firft parents reap from 
a promife of a redeemer, if they were to 
have no benefit from the redemption ? 
The promife was univerfal, and therefore 
they to" whom it was made mull certainly 
be included in it. Every fubfequent cove- 
nant eftabliflied with the patriarchs was a 
renewal of it : And hence St. Paul fays 
that '" God preached the go/pel to Abraham, 
faying. In thy feed jhall all nations be blejfed -, 
and it was faith in this promife that ' was 
counted unto him for right eoufiiefs : the fame 
faith made ' Mojes efieem the reproach of 
Cbrifi greater riches than the treafures of 
Egypt; and this faith entitled him, and 
every true believer, to the recdmpence of the 
reward. Either facrifices were fufficient 
to fatisfy the juftice of God, or they were 
not : if they were fufficient, there needed 

P Calet. iii. 8.. ' "Rom. iv, 3. 

' ' Eeb. xi. 26. 

K 2 no 

148 S E R M O N IV. 

jio redeemer j if they were not, the effi- 
cacy of his l?l<5od muft be refleded back 
upon thofe who offered them. And upoh 
this is founded the Apoftk's argumeiit, 
that if Chrijl's once offering himfelf had 
not been effedlual ' i>e muft often have Jkf'- 
feredjince f%efoundmm of the worM. But 
' Jefits Chrijl is the fame yejierday, to day, 
and for ever. The efficacy of his facfifice 
extends through all ages from the. begih^ 
ning to the end of the world. 

As the benefits of Chrijl'^ paffion are 
univerfal with regard to time fo are they 
likewife with regard to perfons. He died 
for all without exception, without diftinc- 
tion. The words made ufe of in fcripturfe 
are plain, familiar, and explicit, teaching 
us that all mankind univerfally are the 
fubjed: of redemption. " Chri/i ga^e him' 

« He6. ix. 26* ' Hti. xiii. 8. 

" Tim. ii. 4 6. It is obfervable that the common Syriac 
and Dr. Ridley's dd MS. feem both of them to h^ve read 
Strep aaiTof infte&d of vaitTur, he gave himfdf a renfeA fir 
every individual man. The Verfion, fays the Doftor, may 
rather be a proof of a Syriac Idiom than a various reading 
in the original ; hoftrever it proves their fenfe Of the paf- 
iage that the ran/em luai for fvery indi'uidual, and not fur 
■Jqme only nf every kind. •, 


felf a ranfom for all ; be wiM have all men' 
to be foiiedi ^ he is the lamb of God that 
taketb an^ay the f,m of the world, '^ the pro- 
pitiation for thefm cf the whole world. As 
thafe who werq redeemed are colleSlively 
expreflfed by the words all, the world, and 
the whole world., fo likewife are they dij- 
triltutii>ely, ^ 'The Lord is not willing that 
2kny JhoiiM perifh ; ^ he tafled death «Wg imvihi 
for every individual man. The univerfality 
of the redemption is plainly taught in the 
parallel, which the Apoftle draws between 
the effects oi Athm's difoJ>£dience zad thofe 
qf the obedieno^e of Chrifl. * As^^ by the of- 
fence of one judgement came upon, all men to 
cmdemnatimt fo by the: right eoufnefs of one the 
free gift came upon all men untojuftificatioii 
of life : ^As in Adam all die, fo in Chriji 
fiall all, be made alive. ' The whole Chrif- 

" J«/&» i. 29, * i Jeh ij. Z. 

f 2 Pet. iii. g. * Hei. ii, 9. 

• Uom.v. i8. '' iCor.Tiv. Z2. 

= Perf^afio noft^a^ non eft ex eo qui voc^vk noa, (bd ex 
nobis qui ponfentimus voc^ti : aliud quippe dei opus, 
aliud hominum ; dei opu« eA vocare, kominum credere 
vel non credere. — Accufat enim quare non obediverint ve- 
ritati, oflendens in eoruni arbitrio po^tum obedire vel non 
obedire. IKer. in Galat. v. 8. In this he Ibeaks the fenfe 
of all the ancients till St. Jufiin's time, wiiify. This 
point is \ety fully and ably treated by the late learned Dr. 

K 3 ^V/fy 

150 S E R M O N IV. 

tian church for the firft four hundred 
years maintained this comfortable truth ; 
all the Chriftian writers during that period 
uniformly agree in this dodlrine ; afcrib- 
ing the condemnation of men, not to any 
partial purpofe or irreJpeSiive dectee of God 
but to their own free choice, not to his de- 
nial of grace but to their negleB of ,it when 
proffered. St. Aujiin firft broached the 
contrary dodlrine of eleSiion and reprobation^ 
falling (it is to be hoped inadvertently) in 
the warmth of a difpute againft Pelagius^ 
whofe tenets were fubverfive of univerjal, 
into the oppofite extreme of particular and 
irrejijlible grace. The credit however 
which he gained ip this controverfy was 
fo great, that his writings became the 
foundation on which the latin fathers and 
fchoolmen eredlcd their theology ; they 
were prefcribed by the authority of the 
Popes as a rule never to be fwerved from 
in all fchools and univerfities. Hence this 
rigid dodlrine became fo ^oted in the 
church that even the firft reformers, 

Ridhy in his Sermons at Lady Mfjer's hiiurts, to which. I beg 
leave to refer the reader. 


S E R M O N IV. 151 

though in general men of learning, piety, 
and judgement yet (being according to 
the cuftom of the times particularly verfed 
in his writings, and imprefled with an in- 
vincible notion of his fuperior excellence) 
blindly profefTed, and ftrenuoufly main- 
tained it, without examining its beginning 
or progrefs. But when the ftudy of the 
holy fcriptures and the more ancient fa- 
thers came into repute and ufe, the au- 
thority of St. Aujlin (^ which in truth was 
challenged in fupport of dodtrines much 
more extravagant than thofe which he 
really taught) gave way to the uniform 
opinion of the catholic church in early 
ages, to the reafon of man, to the word 
of God. They would in all probability have 
died had it not been for their fubferviency 
to the defigns of artful fedlaries, who have 
of late years not only embraced but ^im- 

^ There are feveral paflages in his writings, which give 
room to fuppofe that his real opinion is not to be gathered 
from thofe unguarded expreiIions> leaning too much to 
Matdcbaifm, into which his zeal hurried him in his difpute 
with Pela^ius. Such is the following. Vub Dew omnes ho- 
mines fal-vas fieri, et in agnitimetn 'veritatis •venire : ' noufic ta- 
men, .ut eis. adimat liberum urbiiriunt, quo 'vel bene vel male 
Utentes jujlijpme judicentur. Aug. ad Marc, dejpir. et lit, C. 33. 

* .',' Though all the fins that ever were committed in the 

K 4 " whole 

152 5 E R M O isr IV. 

proved upon them, in fpite of their anti-i 
fcriptural principle, and the horrid confe-< 
quences with which they are juftly charge- 
able. I tremble to mention the diftindion 
made by "Thomas Aquinas,, and efpo^fed by 
Calvin and his followers, of an hidden an(^ 
revealed will of God contrary to each other. 
It refteds upon the veracity and goodnefs 
of God ; it robs him of all his moral 
attributes, which endear him to his ra- 
tional creatures > it makes his dealings! 
with men fraudulent and illufive, in in- 
viting them to a falvation which was 
never defigned for them ; in fetting forth 
i^nto them a redeemer, in whom they 
really have no intereft nor concern \ in. 
oiFering terms of reconciliation, which be 
i$ determined never to grant -, in pqblifh- 
iag pardon to all tnae penitents and b&- 
liesefs,. when he ikas fecretfly refolved. that 
they fhall not truly repent and believe, or 
if they do, yet they fhall not partake of 
ti\e. pardon promifedi 

- I' 

"• whole worfd weit centered in one foul, it would be bo 
" bar to its falviation." -WhitfiMtjaA, Cummm, as quoted 
by Dr. Ridf^. 



But let us turo ^way from this (hpcikiilg 
fcene though tp one pefhapi not much 
lefs (hocking. 

We hav^ feen, from many plain ^n# 
exprefs texts of fcjripture, that Chriji died 
in our ftead, ^nd that by his death he 
^ade an atonement and fatisfadion to the 
juftice of God for the fins of the whple 
world. Yet a neighbouring church, which 
infolently claims the title of catholic, in 
fa(3: rejedis that do«S.rine -, it relies npt on 
the fufferings or merits of our blefled re- 
deemer, from whiqh the great pillars of 
tliat church tell us there gomes, no accef- 
liqrt of dignity to the works pf juft men, 
which ' do of themfehes ky a value of conr^ 
d^niiy. merit eternal life. Whjeii theie good 
works are wanting finners have recourfe 
not to the fatisfadion of Cbr^ but of 
Saints, with which they are abundantly 
fupplied out of a treafure pretended to be 
left to that church ; to ^ indulgences and 

^ BeJlarm. de juftific. I. v. c. 7. ; 
8 The novelty of indulgences and parSons, &c. is freely con- 
f^fied by many Romijh writers. Inter omnes res, de quibus in 


154 S E R M O N IV. 

pardons, which the Pope ufurps the power 
upon being paid properly of diflributing 
profufely. By thefe and various other 
methods of human inftitution do they 
feek for falvation j " ^ methods derogatory 
*• from the merits of our Saviour, contra- 
" didtory to common fenfe as well as 
*' fcripture, which neither any Apoftles 
*' ever taught, nor any fathers of the 
*' church ever heard of." 

We are told by St. Paul that Chrijl, 
after he had offered onefacrifice for Jins, for 
ever fat down at the right hand of God, 
and that ivhere there is remijpon for fins 
there is no more offering for fin : yet the 
church of Rome facrilegioufly prefumes 
to bring Chrijl down every day from the, 
right hand of God, to crucify afrefh the 

hoc opere di^utamus, nulla eft quam minus aperte S. li- 
ters prodiderunt et de qua minus vetufti fcriptorej dixe- 
riflt ; neque tamen hac occalione contemnendae funt— — 
nam de tranfuhftantiom panis in corpus Chrijli vita, eft in anti- 
quis fcriptoribus mentio — de purgatorio fere nulla. — Quid 
ergo mirum ii ad hunc modum contigerit de indulgentiis ut 
apud prifcos nulla fit de eis mentio ? Alphouf. Caftro de har. 
1. 8. TV/, de Indulgentiis. 

' Brevixi »n the Mafs. 


S E R M O N IV. 155 

Lord of glory I " "changing his jnjiitution 
** of a facrament into a facrifice of their 
" own, the facrdmental communication of 
•' the body and blood of Chrijl to man 
** into a proper and real offering oi the 
*' fame bpdy and blood to God-" and this 
the Council of Trent declares to be ^ a true 
and proper facrifice really propitiatory for 
the fins , pumjhments, fatisfaSlions, and other 
necefities, both of the iiving and the dead. 

But we, my brethren, thanks be to 
God have not fo learned Chriji. We ac- 
knowledge with gratitude that ' the offering 
of Cbriji once made is a perfeB redemption^ 
propitiation, and fatisfaSlion for all the^fns 
of the whole world, and that there is none 
other fatisfaSiion for Jin but that alone : 
We believe that the blood fhed in this 
facrifice is the feal of the new covenant, 
by which God is pleafed through the 
merits of his beloved fon to remit our 

' Brevint on the Ma/i. 

^ Sef. xxii. ch. 2. There are no lefs than nine canons 
relating to the mafi, all of them containing anti-fcriptural 
do£lrine ; yet each of them pronounces a curfe againft thofe 
that diibelieve it. 

' Article 3 1 ft. 


156 S E R M O N IV. 

fins, and receive all mankind without re- 
fpeft of perfons into grace and favour i 
that to thennt, who truly and fincerely en- 
deavour to fulfil the terms of the cove- 
nant, Chri^ will be " made ivifdomf and 
right eoufnefs, and fanBificationt and redemp- 
tion \ their minds will be enlightened, 
their fins forgiven ; the means of grace 
will be powerfully imparted to theni, and 
their obedience finally crowned with eter- 
nal life. — And this God will be pleafed 
to perform, not through any merits of our 
own,, but through the merits and fatis- 
faftion of his Son our Saviour '^ejm 

" I Cor. i. 30. 

t 157 ] 


John i. i, 2,- 3. 

'i^&at nivhich was from the beginnrng, niahkh 
we have heard, which we have feen with 
our eyesy which we have hoked upon, and 
•our hands have handled of the word of 
life (for the life was manfejied, and we 
have Jeen it, and bear witnefs, and Jhew 
unto you that eternal life which was with 
the father and was m^nifejled unto us.) 
'That which we hai3e feen and heard de- 
clare we unto yon. 

TH E redemption of mankind is fo 
AvOnderful in itfelf and fo important 
in its confeqiiences, that the moft minute 
cirCumftancfe delating to it is highly de- 


158 S E R M O N V. 

ferving our moft ferious and attentive con- 
fideration : how much more then are we 
bound by indifpenfible duty to endeavour 
at attaining a right notion of thofe more 
material truths, which conftitute its very 
effence and fubftance ? With this view, 
(after having in the foregoing difcourfes to 
the beft of my abilities vindicated the firft 
principles of religion in general, and the 
truth of the Chriftian religion in particu- 
lar,) 1 proceeded to explain that ftate 
of perdition from which we were redeem- 
ed, and the nature, benefits, and univer- 
fality of that redemption ; refcuing con- 
ftantly what has appeared to me to be the 
truth, as delivered by Cbri/l and his 
Apoftles, from the hand of the enemyt 
With the fame view I propofe, God wil- 
ling, to employ, the prefent difcourfe in 
confidering from his word, contained in 
the fcriptures, the nature of that bleffed 
perfon by whom our redemption was 
efFe<a:ed i and for that purpofe have chofen 
thefe ^ords of St. John ; becaufe they 
evidently contain and aflert two funda- 
mental dodtrines of a true Chriftian's be-^ 
lief on this fublime and important fubjed, 


S E R M O N V. 159 

the humanity and divinity of Chriji. His 
humanity is plainly aflerted in thefe words 
— that which we have heard — which we 
have feen with our eyes — -which we have 
looked upon and our hands have handled — the 
life was manifejled — expreflions which, be- 
ing thus by way of confirmation croiided 
upon each other and appealing to feveral 
of the fenfes, give us the fuUeft aflurance 
of the certainty and reality of Chriji'% in- 
carnation and manifeftation in the flefh. 
And that this perfon, who thus affumed 
human nature, had a diftindl, fre-exijlent, 
and more excellent being the Apoftle 
teaches us by faying that he was from the 
beginning, by calling him the word of life 
— the life — that eternal life which was with 
the father. 

The words themfelves without any 
comment point out the occafion on which 
they were written, and the herefies they 
were meant to oppofe. They are chiefly 
directed againft the * firft herely that arofe 

* Apollolis adhuc in fseculo Tuperititibu^, adhuc apud 
Judseam Chrijli fanguine recenti, fhantafmn. Domini corpus 
aiTerebatur. Hitrm. adv. Lucif. c. 8. , 


i6o S E R M O N V. 

in the church ; a ftrange, abfurd, and blaf* 
phemous dodtrine taught by Simon Magiis 
and his *" followers — that Jefus Chr^ did 
not mally come in the fle^, but that his 
incarnation was only in appearance^ puta- 
tive as the latin fathers called it, or as the 
greeks iv ibx^H and b (pciilct&iA -, whence we 
often read of them under the names of 
doceta and phantajiajlce. " As they denied 
the reality of our Saviour's human body^ 
fo they confequently held all his adions 
and fufFerings to have been equally ideal} 

* They were called gmjiics from the greek word ytums ; 
which in general Jignifies knotuledge, but in the language 
of fcripture is often ufed for a particular gift vorichfafed 
in thfe infancy of the church, the hnomjledge, of myjleries ; 
which gift thefe heretics pretending to have in a more ef-, 
pecial manner afftmed to theihfelves the name of ymmHs't 
gnqfiksy i. e. the men of kmnjjkdge, as if they had b^fen the 
only perfons that underftood and could expound the myfte- 
ries of the Chriflian faith. Thus the iirft temptation which 
Satan threw in the way t>f man in the ftate of graU, was 
the very fame to which he had fo eafily yielded in the ftate 
of nature. 

'^ Thus Tertuiliiin fpeaking of one Cerdon a ring-leader 
among thefe heretics. Hunc (Chrifium) in fubftantia car- 
nis negat, in fhantaftitate folo fuiffe prbnuntiat j nee omjii- 
flo paffum, fed quafi paffulii ; nee ex virgine natum, fed 
tmnino nee naium. de prafi. TJtsret. c. 51. BaJHides (as we are 
told by PhUflftrius in his book de heeref.) added this pecu- 
liarity to the other abfurdities that '^imn of Cjrene fuffered 
inftead of our Saviour, becaufe it is faid in fcripture that hi 
bore his crofi. < 


S E R M O N V. i6i 

he was not really born of the Virgin 
Maryy neither did he really eat, drink, or 
fleep ; he was not really^ crucified, neither 
did he really die or rife again : All thefe 
things were done only in appearance, in a 
phantajm, or vifion. 

It was, I am jjcrfuaded^ with reference 
to this herefy that St. John began his firft 
general epiftle in the words of my text ; 
it was with a particular view to it that he 
wrote both this and his fecond epiflle ; as 
is, I think, clear from feveral pa0ages 
which I cannot conceive how the wit of 
man could detort to another meaning. 
Such is this in the fourth chapter — ^ every 
fpirit •which confejfeth that Jefus Chrift is 
come in the flefh is of God j and every fpirit 
which confejeth not that Jefus Chrift is 
come in the flefh is not of God : and this is 
that fpirit of Anti-Chrift nvhereof ye have 
beard that it Jhould come : and this/ likewife 
in the fecond epiftle — ' many deceivers are 
gone out into the world who confefs not that 

* V. 2, i. « V. 7. 

L Jefus 

i62 SERMON V. 

Jefus Chrift is come in the flefh. ^ 'This is 
a deceiver and an An ti- Chrift.) It is, I 
conceive, with a view to this herefy that 
our Apoftle in his gofpel having obferved 
that ^ nsohen the Joldiers Jaw that Chriji iioas 
dead they brake not his legs, but that one of 
the Joldiers with afpear pierced his Jide and 
forthwith came thereout blood and water — 
having, I fay, obferved this he adds— ^(» 
that Jaiv it bare record, and his record is 
true, and he knoweth that he faith true that 
ye might believe. But what were they to 
believe ? what dodtrine did this fa6t prove, 
that the Apoftle takes fo much care to 
teftify and afcertain it? It could be' an 
evidence of nothing elfe but that Chriji 
had a true and real human body, and was 
truly and really dc^A, againft the heretics 
of thofe times. To this teftimoiif of 
water and blood our Apoftle in his firft 
epiftle adds that of the Jpirit, the Holy 
Ghoft, who at the baptifm of C/^r^ declaf- 

«w» um^jiitrm. As if be had faid thoje that confefs not thai 
Jefus Chrift is come inthefiejh are Antichrifts. Epiph. ipeaking" 
of this herefy. bar. xxvi. 15. * ' 

« John xviii. 34, 35, 36. 

S E R M O N V. 163 

ed him to be theyS« of God j for, fays he, 
thefpirit is truth j and therefore could not 
give his atteilation to an illuiive fcenical 
reprefentation, ^ as thefe heretics affirmed 
his baptifm in particular to have been. 

I am perfuaded that by carrying this in 
our minds we ihall be able to underftand, 
and feel the force and propriety of, many 
places in fcripture vtrhich without fuch a 
reference appear either obfcure or of no 
great importance J it will certaiply furnifh . 
us with a very pertinent anfwer to .that 
otherwife difficult queftion, fo often and 
fo ftrongly urged by the unitarians ' j 
** why St. fohn (who on Account of his 

'' Some of them held that Je/us and Chrift were two dif- 
ferent p'erfons : that Jefiis was born like other men from 
yo/efh and Mary ; but that at his baptifm Chrift defcended 
into him in the ihape of a dove, and deferted him again 
before his paffion, leaving him to be crucified, &c. See 
Iretueus 1. i. c. 25, &c. To this our Apofile alludes, c. ii. 
V. 22. Who is a bar But he that demth that ]eias is the 
Chrift ? and c. v. v. i, &c. 

' It is obfervable, fays Dr. Whitby in his preface to this 
gofpel, that whereas Crellius in his book ^« uno deo fatre 
SeO. ii. reckons up 36 arguments againft the divinity of 
Chrift, and Woltzogeniia in his praparatio ad uiiUm Ie3i6nem 
Uhrarum N. T. reckons up 60 againft it, one half of them 
are taken from fome paifages of this gofpel, 

L 2 ** fublime 

i64 S £ R M O N V. 

" fublinie defcription of the divine na- 
^« ture and eternity of the word obtained 
«< the name of the divine) fhould not- 
«« withftainding afford more arguments 
«< for his humanity than all the other 
'" Evangelifts ?" When the other Evan- 
gelifts wrote, the faith had not been op- 
pugned j but ?)i. John, who lived a lon^ 
while after theni, had two different and 
contradidlory opinions to contend with. 
Thofe therefore who deny the divinity- d 
our Saviour very artfully pafs over the 
arguments vi^hich he urges a^ainft theit 
predeceffors, and eagerly prefs into their 
fervice all the texts which, in oppofition 
to the other herefy, refpedl his human na-^ 
ture and that inferiority, which in the 
oeconomy of our redemption he was 
pleafed to take upon him. , His gofpet 
was written when gnojlic^m was at its 
height, and therefore I prefume intended 
to confute that as well as the herefy of 
Cerinthus and E&ion, who ran in the oppo- 
fite extreme. Againft thefe he firil aflerti 
the divinity of our. Saviour feying that''/* 

^ Jahn i. I. s 


S E R M O N V. 16$ 

the hginning was the imrdt and the word 
•was with God, and the word was Godi and 
then maintains his humanity againfl: the 
other heretics fubjoining, ^ the word was 
made Jkjh and dwelt among us, and we beheld 
his glory ; appealing to the fenfes, as he 
does in my text) for the certainty and 
reality of his incarnation. 

This denial of Chrift's real appearance 
in the flefh, however ridiculous it appears 
to us, prevailed much and fadly afHid:e4 
the church for the firfl: two hundred years. 
It is taken notice of by ^ Ignatius bifhop 
of Antioch and cotemporary with our 
Apoftle, who tells us that foine abfented 
themfelves on that account from public 
prayers and the eucharifl : and it |night« 
if it 'Svere neceflary, be purfued througl^ 

* ytih»i, 14. Irenaus after quoting thofe pafisges.out 
of our Apoftle's Ef^f which I have cited above, adds — ' 
Haec autem fimitia unt illi quod in Eififhgelio di^um ei, 
quasiam Verbum caro ftiBwn eji et hahitavit in nobis. Iren. L, 
iii, c. 18. 

*" Ti»; i^iu «f«$f rUTttti anei^t, y^tr/artt t» hxtif «t77>« 
Bifof tehrii. ■ Iguat. ad Troll, et ad Sfttffn. 

iftg^Si ^tSi-na^ve-an. Jgnai. adSiUfrn, -^ 

1# 1 the 

l66 SERMON V. 

the writings of all the other fathers to 
even beyond the times of Irineeus and 
'tertullian ; the latter of whom wrote a 
treatife profefledly againft it, entitled " De 
" Carhe Chrijii :" in which ^he makes ufe 
of this remarkable argument. — "T&ofe, 
fays he, w&o think that Chriji's incarnaiioH 
was only in appearance dejlroy the refurrec- 
tion of theJleJJo. If his human nature is not 
allowed, how can his death be ajferted ? If 
his death is not allowed, neither, can his rejkr- 
f-eSlion be maintained. But if the refurrec-' 
tion of Cbrijl is overthrown, ours falls of 
courfe. This argument, I j^y, is remark- 
able ;' becaufe it fhews how intimately 
conneded this article of Chrijl'i humanity 
is with the hope of a Chriftian j and be- 
caufe it is evidently the fame which St. 
Paul makes ufe of in hhfft6enth chapter 
pf the frjl epiftle to the Corinthians ; and 
is therefore a ftrong prefui|U)tion that the 
Apoftle there defends the refiarreftion of 

^ Qiji carnem Chrifti putativam putaut reforreftipnem 
carnis infringunt. Si Caro ejus negatnr, quomodo mors 
^us aflpyeratpr ?, Negati vero morte, nee de refurreftione 
fonftaBit. Proinde refurreftione Chrifti infirmata etianv 
poftra iubverlj(teft. ; Tq the fame purpofe St. Cyril, %\ ?«»• 
Wf^ «r i ateui^fimiiris futmrff^ t^ if mrnpttc. Cat. iv. 6. 

■ / the 

S E R M ON V. 167 

the body againfl the fame heretics ; and 
for the fame reafon he joins in another 
place Cbriji's incarnation and refurreBion, 
as tj-uths depending upon each other; 
charging 2«»o/4y to preach and inculcate 
them — " rmiember that Jefus Chriji of the 
feed of David was raifedfrom the dead.. 

Whilft the miracles of our Saviour, and 
more particularly his refurredlion, were 
frefli in the memory of men j there could 
be, there was no doubt in the church 
about his divinity : of this period therefore 
the enemy of mankind took advantage by 
tempting them to deny his humanity and 
the infirmities and fufferings confequent, 
as inconfiftent with the excellence of his 
perfon : but, when the fenfe of them be- 
gan to wear out of men's minds, he bold- 
ly ventured one ftep further and tempted 
them to deny his divinity. By the jirfi 
herefy his facrifice was entirely exploded ; 
by thcf^iond rendered of no efFeft. The 
firft has long ago been entirely fprgottcn ; 
but the fecond having come down even to 
our times under different modifications, it 

" z Tim. ii. 8. 

L 4 cannot 

i68 SERMON ^V; 

cannot be an ufelefs or difagreeable em- 
ployment to enquire into the proofs con- 
tained in the evangelical and apoftolical 
writings of that divinity, which our church 
maintains againfl all unitarians whatfoever. 
In order to do this in as clear and dif- 
tindt a manner as I can, I fhall proceed 
gradually ; and confidcr 

Firft, our Saviour's pre-txijlence in 

Secondly, his temporal. 

And thirdly, his eternal pre-exijienee. 

As the Jirjl particular is included in 
both the others, I need not labour for 
arguments to prove it. I fhall therefore 
content myfelf with quoting a few plain 
paffages, which have a general reference to 
this dodlrine. Thus .from Chriji^s faying; 
to his difciples, '^ as my father has fent me 
Jo fend I you, we may fairly infer that he, 
as well as the Apoftles, had a being before 
he had his miffion. When he tells the 


S E R M O N V. 169 

JewSt ' I know whence I came, he evident- 
ly fpeaks of fome place and ftate of life 
prior to that into which he came : What 
this place was he tells them foon after. — 
* I proceeded forth and came from God. When 
he faid that ' be came doivn from heaven, 
not only the fews iinderftood him as 
fpeaking of a real defcent. Is not this Jefus 
the fon of Jofeph whofe father and mother 
we know ? How is it then that he faith, I 
came down from heaven f but he himfelf 
afcertains that meaning by urging to thdm. 
What and if you Jhallfee the fon of man af- 
cend up where he was before f In which 
paffage he plainly afferts that " his afcen^ 
** fion into heaven would be but a tranf- 
** lation of the human nature thither 
*• where according tp a more excellent 
** nature he did abide before his incar- 
'* nation." 

From the frequent application of the 
term coming to our bleffed Saviour it has 
been imagined, and not without reafon, 
that he i« emphatically ftiled the ^%ofAivos 
he that is coming, he that cometh. When 


« John viii. 14. ' Join viii. 42. 

■ • John vi. 38. 4?. 6z. 


j^o SERMON V. 

John's difciples enquired of him if he was 
theMeJpah'j ^ they faid unto him art thou 
$he ep%ojM.ewff. " The multitude cried^ Ho- 
fannah to the/on of David i Blejfed be the 
ifx^fji-tvps , * Verily I fay unto you, youjhall 
not fee me, until the time when you Jhall fay, 
Blejfed be the o s^;^ojttei/o?. The MeJJiah had 
been fo ftiled before by the prophet " Bfl- 
bakkuc in a paffage alluded to by St. "Paul, 
Yet a little while and the o \^xo^%ws he that 
is coming will come. 

I fhall quote but one paffage out of the 
epiftles relating to Chrift's pre-exiftence in 
general ; but that one is fo full and clear 
that though it flood alone it would be 
fufficient to eftablifh the dodrine. St. 
Paul recomijiends our Saviour to thf Phi- 
lippians as a pattern of hun^ility, ^ who 
being in the form of God — took, upon him 
the form of a feriant. Whatever is the 
precife meaning of this paffage, thus much 
is undeniable J that there is a contraft, in 
which lies the whole force of the example 

' Mafth. xi. 3. « Matth. xxi. 9. 

* Luke xiii. 35. ^ Habak. ii. 3. Heb. 10. 37. 

y Pbiiif. ii. 6, 7. 


SERMON V. 171 

J)ropofed, between that ftate in which 
Chrift was before and that in which he was 
after he had taken upon him our nature ; 
and confequently that he had a being be- 
fore he was born of the virgin Mary. Ac- 
cordingly we read in the new teftament of 
feveral particular periods of time in which 
he did pre-exift. 

Th&JirJi period of Chrift's temporal pre- 
exlfience mentioned in the new teftament 
is the time of David, about a thoufand 
years before he was born, fefus afked 
the Pharifees, ^ iiohat think ye of Chrift ? 
•whofe fon is he ? they fay unto him, thefon 
of David j he faith unto them, how then 
doth David in fpirit call him Lord ; faying 
the Lord fiid unto my Lord, ft thou on my 
right hand till I make thine enemies thy foot- 
fool ? If David call him Lord how is he his 
fon F And no man was able to anfwer him a 
word. ^ It is plain from hence that the 
perfon whom David calls Lord was then 
in being; and that he was the Mefjiabt 

» M««/J.'xxii. 42, &c. 


ijz S E R M O N V, 

pontrary to the artifice pf later Jews ^wh^ 
^pply this pfalm to EzechiaSf is affertcd by 
our Saviour and allowed by the Pharifefs 

The next period in which we read of 
the pre-exiftence of Chriji carries us about 
four hundred years higher. For St. Paul^ 
laying before the Corinthians the fpecid 
favours and advantages vouchfafed to the 
Jews during their abode in the wildernefs, 
warns them not to truft tod much upon 
the like fpiritual privileges, nor to commit 
thofe fins which were the caufe of their 
ruin, and particularly '' not to tempt Chrift 
as fome of theifi alfo tempted him. ■' 

' It was the univerfal belief not only of 
the primitive Chriftians, but likewife the 
ancient Jews, that it was the jlf^^^ who 
Condu<9:ed the Ifraelites by the pillar of 
cloud and of fire. "^ Bekol4, hys God, / 

* See Jujlin Martyr's dialogue flgainft Trypho, p. 251. 
E^. yei6. and likewife Tertullian adv. Mar. I, v.. c, 9. 

'' I Cpr. X. 9. 

"= See Dr. Allix in his judgment of the Jenuijh thunh, C. 
i^, 14, 15. and Mr. Leivth on Ifaiah Ixiii. 9. 
V *• Bstad.x^ni. 20, 21. 


SERMON V. 173 

Jend an angel before tbee to keep thee in the 
way, and to bring thee into the place which I 
have prepared » beware of him and etbey his 
voice, provoke him not ; for he will not par~ 
don your tranfgrejjiom, for my name is in 
him. He is here indeed called an Angela 
but it is at the fame time declared that he 
had power to pardon tra:nigrefRons, and 
that in him was the name of God. And 
accordingly the incommunicahle name 
fehovah is given to him. — * fehovah went 
before the ppj^le in a pillar of cloud by day' 
and of fire by night; and 'Jehovah looked 
unto the hqft of the Egyptians through the 
pillar of fire and the cloud. It could not 
therefore be a created Angel, for which of 
them has power to pardon fins ? in which 
of them is the name of God ? It was ^ the 
Angel of the covenant, the ,^ Angel of God's 
prefence ; an Angel by office not nature : 
the Captain of the Lord's hofi ; which title 
when yofi)tta heard *" he fell on his face and 
did worjhip and faid unto him, what faith 
my ^ord unto bisfirvantf It was he wha. 

• Excd. xm. u. •• ' Exod. xiv. 24. 

« Mal.TXi. I. k IfAnxiii). 

« Jojh. V. 14. 


174 S E R M O N V, 

took up his refidence over the ark, whofe 
^glory filled the tabernack which Mofes built 
according to his protnife and prediction ia 
that divinely-infpired fong of praife and 
thankfgiving to God for his wonderful de- 
liverance of his people. — ' Hhe Lord is my 
firength and my fahation i he is my God 
and I Jhall prepare him an habitation. Of 
this glorious refidence the blefling confer- 
red by Noah upon Shem was undoubtedly 
prophetical. — ^° God Jhall dwell in the taber- 
nacles of Shem i and its further application 
to our bleiTed Saviour is confirmed by St. 
yohn when, in manifcfl allufion to this 
habitation and the glory by which the 
Lord manifefled his prefence, he fays 
" the Word was madefiejh and iTmvuin dwelt 
in a tabernacle among us, and we beheld his 
glory," the glory of the only begotten fon of 
the father. 

The next period in which the fcriptures 
of the new teflament take notice of the 
pre-exiflence of Chrift is indefinite j but 

•" Exad. xl. 35. ' Exod. XV.. 2. 

^ Gettef.ix, Zf. » Joha'i. 14. 


S E R M N y. 175 

the antiquity of it is fb far afcertained 
that it is fexprefsly aflerted to have been 
before Abraham. " Your father Abrahantt 
fays Chrifi to the Jews, rejoiced to fee my 
day, and he faw it and was glad: then f aid 
thefeivst thou art not yet ffty years old and 
ha/i thou feen Abraham I* fefus faid unto 
them, verily t verily , I fay unto you, before 
Abraham was I am. It is amazing what 
pains the enemies of this dodtrine have 
taken to elude and perplex this moil clear 
and plain paffage. - Some interpret it thus 
— Before Abraham is made, what his, name 
iignifies, a father of many nations I am the 
Meffiah* Others take the words -tt^iv. 
'aQ^^aja t^itduf in their natural meaning ; 
but to the others they add a ftrange quali- 
fication, before Abraham was born, I was 
in God's foreknowledge and decree. Every 
one of Chriji's hearers was before Abra- 
ham in the fame fenfe. Why then fliould 
they be fo exafperated as to take up 
Jlones to caji at him I* Doubtlefs hecaufe 
they underftood his words in their literal 
|nd obvious fenfe, as a diredt anfwer to 

Jahn viii. 56, 57, 58. 


176 S E R M O N V. 

their queftion which refpedted only aftual 
exiftence. In this refpeQ our Saviour af- 
ferting a priority appeared to them to 
affert in faift an eternal exiftence ; and for 
that reafon they attempted to inflict upoa 
him 'the punifliment which the law de- 
creed again ft blafphemy. I know that the 
expreflions (Abraham rejoiced to fee my day. 
and he fans} , it ) are generally underftood m 
a metaphorical and religious fenfe, he fawL 
it with the eye of faith as a thing to be ae- 
complijhed in future ages. I verily believe 
that Abraham did fee the day of Chrifi 
with the eye of faith j but I do not take 
that , to be our Saviour's meaning in this 
place J for then Abraham muft have feen 
him only as one who was to come > and 
therefore his priority of exiftence to Ajbra^ 
ham, which is here afterted* would be not 
only foreign but in a great degree con- 
tradidtory to the occafion, on which it is 
introduced. I cannot therefore but con^ 

I" He that hlafphemetii the name of the Lordy he Jhallfurelf 
be put to death, and all the congregation fi/all certainly fione him, 
Levit. xxiv. 1 6. Thus in the loth chap. ^*hen he fays, 
/ and the Father are One, the Je'ius took upftones again to ftont 
him^ V. 30, 31. 


S E R M ON- V. 1^7 

elude that C'hriji here aUudes, to his fre-* 
querit, and more efpecially to two illuftri- 
ous, manifeftations of himfelf to the father 
of the faithful. The firll was in thej 
plains of Mamre, when he came attended 
by two Angels in the form and likenefs of 
man : And ' Jehovah ^ appeared unto him — 
and he lift up his eyes and looked, S and lo! 
three men Jiood by him. • Of two of them 
the patriarch takes no notice; but to the 
third he addreffes himfelf, calls him ' Lord,- 
the judge of all the earth, and' pleads with 
him for the cities of Peniapolis. ' Behold 
now I have taken upon me to /peak unto the 
Lord, who am but duft and ajlses. Oh let 
not the Lord be- angry and I will /peak. This; 
perfon, whofe divine, majefty is acknow-* 
ledged by Abrahcm and allowed by him- 
felf, who has the facred name Jehovah 
given him by * Mofes, he furely could not 
be a mere man or created angel ; neither 
could he be God^ the Father ; for "" him no 
man hath/een at any time. We may there- 
fore, with- all primitive antiquity, conclude 

•J Gene/, xviii, i, 2. See Juft. Mart. Dial. p. 367. 
' V. 25. ' V. 27. 30. 

' V. 22. •• Johni. 18, 

M that 

178 S E R M N V: 

that it was that God who iafterwards ap- 
peared unto ' IJaae, and called himfeJf the 
God of his father Abraham j to "Jacob , * and 
called himfelf M(? God if Abraham and Ifaaci 
to ^ MoJeSi and called himfelf the God of 
Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob; who is by "^ St. 
Stephen called the God of gkry ; ** he who 
always defcended to converfe with men 
from the beginning, fetting before us the 
order of that difpenfation which was after- 
wards manifefted." — He thus appeared in 
a human Jhape to Abraham, as a prelude 
and fymbol of his taking upon him human 
nature, to lay a foundation (fays * ^ertul- 
liaii) for our faith, that we might the more 
readily believe that the Son of God was 
come into the world, when we knew he 
had formerly done fo. The other appear- 
ance, in this place more particularly allud- 
ed to, was ftill more illuftrious ; for in it 
Abraham, having obey-ed the command of 
God bidding him '' offer up his only bigot- 
ten Son, of wham it had beewfmd, that in 
Ifaac Jhall thy feed be called, received him 

" Gmf. xxvi. 24. * G^/'xxviii. 13. 

y Exod. iii. 1 5. * Aas vii. z. 

* Tertull. coat. Prax, c. 14. * Hd.tx. 17, 18, 19. 


SERMON V. 179 

even from the dead in a figure : ' God being 
pleafed to reveal unto him by way of myf- 
tery, how that feed of his fhould make all 
the nations of the earth bleffed ; aod there- 
fore, for a perpetual memorial of thi? won- 
derful revelation, the grateful patriarch 
'called the place Jehovah-jireh, be£aufe in 
it Jehovah bad beenfeen. 

The next period, in which the New Tef- 
tament mentions Cbrifi's temporal pre-ex- 
ijiencey reaches beyond the flood. ' Chriji 
(fays St. Peter) hath once fa£'ered for fins — 
beii^ put to death in the fiejh, but quicken- 
ed by the fpirit : by which aJfo he went and 
preached rots ex <pu?\si,)i^ TFvivfjLctm to the fpirit s 
which are now in prifon {referved, as he 
fays in ^ another place, unto judgment) to 

4^tDyi. 13. 25. 

•' Gent/, j^xii, 14. See Mr. Shuck/frd's Counea. v. JI, 
p. 21. ' I Pet. lii. 48, 19, 20. 

' 2 Pet. ii. 4. By the confent of the Jewifli nation (fays 
rVr, Whitby) Tke. gemratiott of ike oidiiuorU ha've mjlBr/ieti m 
the •world to come, neithw Jhall tbey Jland up in judgment; for 
it is faid. My fpirit Jhall not al'ways Jiri-ve loith man — i. e. 
according to Bifhop Patrick, My fpiri't in my prophets 
Enoch and Noa^ fhall not always be endeavouring to bring 
men to repentance, but fliall proceed to' punifh then}. 
Now this punifliment, adds Dr, W. being th;e drowning of 
M 2 th« 

i8a S E R M .0 N v. 

them Chr'iji preachedi. when once the Jong" 
Juflering of God .waited in the days of Noah 
while the ark was preparing. According to 
the natural and obvious explication of this 
paflage, in which all the writers of primi- 
tive chriftianity agree, it was Chriji who 
preached repentance to the old world by 
the miniftry of his prophets : of whom 
Noah was one, being called by our apoftle ^ 
a preacher of righteoufnefs i and JS«of/&- an- 
other, for St. ^ JudCi fpeaking of the un- 
godly, in his days, fays that to them was 
applicable th^ prophecy oi Enoch, pronoun- 
cing a fearful deftrudion on the antedilu- 
vian finners J behold the Lord cometh with 
ten thonfand of his faints to execute judge- 
ment, &c. 

Having thus clearly traced our Saviour's 

pre-exiftence as far back as the days of 

* Enoch, it will not be difficult to conceive 

that he was the perfon who in the 

few generations preceding condefcended to 

the old world, their fpirits have been emer Jince kept in pri/on, 
or referred in chains of darkne/s,^ to the judgement of the great, 

6 2 Pet, ii. J. ■• Jude 14. 


S E R M O N V. i8i 

manifeft himfelf to man. And herein we 
have not only the confentient teftimonies 
of the catholic doftors, but of xh&'Arians 
themfelves. With him therefore did thofe 
walk who are faid to have ' talked with 
God; from ^ his prefence Cain, after the 
murder of Aie/; went out i from his face he 
was hid, becaufe from that time he was 
excluded from his fpecial proteftion : he 
never after this enjoyed that intercourfe 
with the Mediator God, which he had 
been pleafed to continue from the begin- 
ning. It was he who appeared to Adam 
immediately after the fall, 'whofe voice 
when our firft parents heard, ' they hidthem^ 
f elves from the prefence of the Lord God, 
And according to this primitive divinity, 
the ferufalem Targum reads "The Word of 
the Lord called Adam ; the 'Targum of On- 
kelos and Jonathan— They heard the voice of 
the Word of the Lord God. And indeed 
^ " learned men have long fince obferv- 
ed, that the ** Chaldee paraphrafes, almpH: 
" as often as mention is made in fcripttfre 

' Gene/, v. 24. ^ Genef. iv. 14. 16, 

' Gemf. iii. 8, 9. 

f" See Bifliop BulPs Deftnct.Bfthe Nicene Faitb^ p. 28. 

M 3 ** of 

i82 S E R M O N V, 

.''-of God fpeaking with us, affifting iiSi 
" and converfing with us, have rendered 
«* the name of God by {the Word)", figni- 
fying, that in thofe places the fcripture 
treated oi ths Son of God, who is called the 
Word, He it was to whom God the Fa- 
ther faid, " Behold the man is i/ecome as one 
tf us } with whom he, as it were, con fult-' 
ed when he faid, ° let us make man : upon 
which paflage Epipbanias ohkrvts— This is 
)the language of God to his Word and mh 
isgotten, as all the faithful believe^ 

This Word Qt only begotten Son of God 
was iiot only pre-exiftent, as we have al- 
ready feeti from fcripture, within a few 
d^ys of the beginning j but, if we believe 
the farfle fcript^ire, in the very beginning, 

' Genef.i. 26. See BifhOp Patrick. Idem ipfe qui ab initio 
«fa1fB4V4t iiW«i!»-, cunj qao et loquebatur paiit, faciamus 
})omi)t^jfe{tta4'*»i finagiutm et ftmilitudinem noflram, in novif- 
ijfliis temporiljus fe ipfiim njanlfpftans hominibus, &;c. 
Mw. Oliver/, hder.l^ 5. c. 15. 'TertuUian talis 'it PrafMa 
p0tris a4filiuin.dL.^nfyrr..cebrn, c. z6. Aim oft all th&fa-i 
tliers indeed bring this paffage in proof of Chrift\ pre-ex- 
jftence; ikKai ytafeu 'in a-tn rS ttwi^'i jgti a-jo T?f s»«*fo»jri)- 
rfvs If I Xais-os fugttii'i)\if lim tS» mianm Zi^Mt tS» ytiint. Hw- 
imfitt «»«ga*«», » usiT ax.nei EMHN, kx^ i^r dxitii HME- 
TEf^N. <:jiriil ■Ctftecii. X. c» 4. 


S E R M O N V, i8| 

before the creation, before time itfelf : for 
time and the world began together, time 
being the meafure of the exigence of one 
fenfible thing by the duration of another 
fenfible thing. That he was in the begin- 
ning is exprefsly afferted by St. ' yo&n j 
and that thdt phrafe is in the Hebrew lan- 
guage equivalent to being /rom eternity, is 
acknowledged by Grotius. This the Evan- 
gelift repeats twice, and then adds as a 
proof of it, that all things were made by 
him, and that nmthout him i&as not any thing 
made that was made. Human reafon itfelf 
will teach u^, that the creator fjiuft bd 
prior to the thing created* the caufb to 
the effedt. We fee how careful St. John 
is, left we (hould in any way confine or 
reftr ain this creation ; for he firft pojitively 
aiTerts, that all things were made by him^ 
and then negativifyi that without him was 
not any thing made that was made^ And 
for the fame reafon St. Paui comprehen- 
fively tells us, that « by him ati things were 
created that are in heaven and that are in 
eariht vjfible and inv^ble, 'thither they be 

P Joini. t. ■> Colof\,i6: 

M 4 thrones 

184 S E R M O N V. 

ihroneSf or dominiom, or principalities, or 
powers; all things were created by kirn and 
for him j and he is before all things, and by 

him all things confji. 

From this eternal pre-exiftence and this 
a6l of creation our Saviour's divine nature 
is apparent. He that made all things out 
of nothing could not be lefs than God. 
And for this very reafdn our apoftle gives 
Chrijl the pre-eminence above Mofes, ' in- 
ofmuch as he who builded the houji hath more 
honour than the houfe j for every houfe is 
builded by fome man, but he that built all 
things is God. In the paflage cited before 
he is carefully diftinguiflied, not only from 
the vifible and material, but moreover 
from the fpiritual and invifible creation, 
from thrones,- and dominions, and principali- 
ties, and powers ; by which titles all angels, 
and archangels, and the whole hoft of hea- 
ven are comprifed. He could not there- 
fore be one of them, as the Arians fondly 
dreAm j but that Word who ' in the begin- 
ning was ■ with God and was God. The name 

" Heb. iii. 3,4. • Johnx. 1,2, 


S E R M O N V. 185 

"yehovab, the proper and incommunicable 
name of God, was given to him in all his 
appearances to the Patriarchs, as ' the an- 
cient fathers prove at large in their virrit- 
ings againft the Jews. By the fame title 
he is defcribed by the prophets " IJhiah, 
^ Hofea, "^ Zachariahy ^ Malachii and par- 
ticularly by * Jeremiah, when prophecying 
of him under the name of the branch of 
David t he fays. In his days Judah Jhall be 
faved, and Ifrael Jhall dwell f of ely -, and this 
is bis name, whereby he Jljall be" called, Je- 
hovah our righteoufnefs. He is called * the 
Lord over all, "• God, " the true God, * the 
great God. In him * thefullnefs of the God- 

* The fathers of the firft ages in general teach', that the 
Son of God frequently appeared' to the holy men under the 
Old Teftament ; yea they explain all thofe appearances in 
which the name Jehovah and divine honours aA given to 
him that appears (although at other times he is called the 
Angel, or an Angel) of this very Son of God. He is a 
Granger in the fathers who knows not this. — B. Bull's Def. 
p. 14. This alTertion he' proves by quotations iiovajuji. 
Jren. Clem. &C. &C. 

" ^. xl. lo-r-xlwii. 17. ^ Ho/.l.y. 

* Ze(h. ii. 10, II. y Mal.m. i. 

'^ Jerem. xxiii. 6. * Koj^.h. iz. t 

'' Bam. xiv. 12. Heb. i. 8,— iii. 4. *» 

•^ I John V. 20. ^ tit. ii. 13. ' **- 

« Col. ii. 9. 


i86 SERMON V. 

JmLd is /aid to dwell: ' God protefts by his 
prophet IJaiah, that he will not give his 
glory to anothen but Chriji did really par- 
ticipate of* his glory even before the be- 
ginning t)f the world j for he faith in his 
human nature — Noiajather glorify me 'with 
the glory whish I had with thee iefore the 
world was. The fame prophet was honour- 
ed with a vifion of ^ the Lord Jit ting upon 
his ihrone-^and above it jiood theferaphim— 
and one cried unto another and faidi holy, holy-t 
holyt is the Lord of hojls -, the whole earth is, 
full of his glory. Now we are exprefsly 
told by St. '' fohn^ that in this illuftrious 
vifion it was the glory of Chriji that the 
prophet faw, Chri/i therefore is the Lord 
of hofis, the fehovah Zebaoth , whbfe glory 
ihcferaphim fung, as they did afterwards 
in the revelation vouchfafed to ' St. fohnt 
faying, holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty, 
which was, and is, and is to come. Thefe 
titles he himfelf challenges — *^ I am Alpha 
and Omega, the beginning and the ending, 

' Compare If. xlii. 8. and xlviii. 1 1. with Johnxxvi. 5. 
* Jf.v'i. I, 2, 3. * john-x\x, 41. • 

^ Revel, VI. 8, ^ Revel, i. 8. 

S E R M O N V. t«7 

fykb the hord^ 'Which is, und ^hkb 'tms^ 
and which is to come -, the jihiighty. 

No nature except the divine is capable 
oi" divine attributes j yet they are all afcrib- 
ed to Chriji. That he is the creator of all 
things, and therefore hefore all things, we 
have already (tQn. That he is emnifeienf 
St. Fetter teaqhes us when he fays, ^ Lord 
thou knoweji all things ; and St. Paul affures 
us, " that in him are hidden all the tre^fures 
^wydom and knowledge, and that " he both 
will bring to light the hidden things of dark'* 
nefs, and will make manifejl the counfels of the 
heart. " God alone knovvs the hearts of 
" all men; yet Chri^ exprefsly claims 
«• this knowledge to himfelf, by faying 
" ° aJJ the churches JhaU know that I am 
** he which Jearchetk the reins und the hearts, 
*' and I will give to every one of you ac- 
'• coring to your works." He is omniptt'- 
fent J for he promifes that, ^wherever two or 
three are gathered together in his name, he 
will be prefent in the mid/i of them. Laftly, 

• Johu xxi, 17. " Cekjf, ii. 3. 

» I Cor. iv. 5. " S,(veJ. ii. 29. 

•" Matt, -nym. 20. 


j88 sermon V. 

he is omnipotent j for ' he is not only the 
wifdom but alfo the power of God; ^ he if 
able even tofubdue alt things to himfelf, and 
^ 'whatever things the father doth, thefe alfo 
doth the fon likewije ; for as the father raif- 
eth up the dead and quickeneth them, even fo 
the Son quickeneth whom he will ; for the 
Father jttdgeth no man, but hath committed 
alh judgement to the Son. From hence I 
argue in the words immediately following^ 
words fpoken by our blefled Saviour him- 
felf, that ^ all men Jliould honour the Son 
even as they honour the Father. God is a 
jealous god, and will not fufFer the honour 
peculiar to himfelf to be transferred to an- 
other. — it is written, " T^hou Jhalt worjhip 
the Lord thy God^ and him only Jhalt'' thdii 
ferve : yet " when he bringeth his frjl^- begot- 
ten into the world, he faith, let all the angels 
of God worjhip him. The Socinians thtm- 
felves acknowledge religious worfhip to be 
due ta Chriji: but to what purpofe do they 
worlhip him ? for if he is not God, he is 

i y, . ■ ' - .'* > 

^ I Cor. I. 24. ■■ Phil. iii. 21. 

' Johnv. ig, zo, 21. «' Js n' ImXftti auri iv^r,7iev on ifgii 
ivTiot. Chryfoft. in Joan, 10, 30. 

• John V. 23. » Matt, iv, 10. 

" Heh. i. 6. 


S,E R M O N V. 18^ 

not omniprefent to hear, nor omnipotent 
to fave them. They indeed make him a 
God, a nuncupative or titular God, a God 
by grace and office, not by nature ; and 
by this diftiridtion endeavour to clear them- 
fclves from idolatry j but in vain: it is 
the very crime with which the apoftlc 
charges the heathen, "^they did Jervice to 
them imhich are not gods' by nature. We 
read no where in fcripture of religious ado- 
ration paid to a creature. ^ St. 'John in- 
deed twice owns that he fell at the feet of 
an angel to worjhip him : but he was re- 
buked J and it is probable that he took 
him" for the angel of the covenant, the Word 
of God, which had fo often before his in- 
carnation appeared in the fhape of an angel, 
and might therefore be thought by the 
apoille to appear fo after his afcenfioti : 
and the words of the angel, when atten- 
*tively confideredj feem to convey this idea 
— See thou do it not; lam thy fellow-fer- 
vant — i. e. I am not that Angel which^ 
thou takeft me to be — nvorjhip God. ' ^ 

* Gal, iv. 8. ' Revel, xix. 10.— xxii. 9. , 


19© S E R M O N T. 

This myftery of the union of two fiicht 
(infinitely diftant natures as the divine and 
hu^an in our blelTed Saviour, fo clearly 
revealed in the word of God, is fo fublime 
and abflrufe, that I hefitate not a moment 
to confefs my utter inability to explain or 
comprehend it. When we eoniider things 
belonging unto God, we ought never to 
fofget making a diftiBdioa between giving 
a reafon for our kelief and a reafon of the 
thmg ksMeved. To the firft our underftand- 
ing _ is always canunenfuraie j the other 
may be and often, is of fueh. a nature, as 
renders it abfolutely impoffibla to be the 
obje^ of human knowledge. Wbot can 
comprehend, and yet who doubts of, the 
felf-exifteneei eternity, infinity, and omni- 
prefence of God ? Who can explain the 
manner in which cold clay is fitted to re- 
ceive and preferve a vital union with the 
foul ? Yet that there is fuch an union every 
one of us feels, and nobody in his fenfer 
c^er ^tomptjBd to deny. If tberefof=e, in 
things pe^rtainipig to man, man requires- 
not perfect knowledge, why in things fu- 
pematura;! and divine fhould his ' hfty 

* 2 Cor. X, 5. 

S E k M O N V. i9t 

imagination exalt itfelf againji the knoivledge 
of God f Why fliould he not think it as 
poffible that God and manJhoM make one 
Ghrifi, as that the reafonable foul and body 
make one man ? 

That this great myftery however, the' 
far above Feafon, is not con trad tftory to 
it is evident from the opinion, which ob- 
tained univerfally among the heathen, of 
their gods appearing in human fliape ; an 
opinion which joccafioned the men ofLyfira; 
when they faw the miracles done by Faul 
and Barnabas t to cry out, * ^he gods are 
come down to us in the Hkenefs of men. 

There feems in general to be ^ congrui- 
ty in the reafon of things, that a mediator 
by e0ce fhould likewife be a mediator by 
nature ; one nearly allied to and having a 
common intereft with both the parties, 
who by his interpofal are to be reconciled; 
credit with the fuperior who is offended, 
and fympathy for the offender. 

a ji3s xiv, u. 


192 SERMON V..1 

. There appears to be a particular proprie- 
ty in the defignation of the Word to the 
work of our redemption, that he fhould 
give man a new life who firft gave him his 
being J that the image of God upon our 
fouls fliould be repaired by him who is 
the exprefs image of God j that through 
the alone interpofition of the true and ef-^ 
Jential Son, we fhould receive an adoptive 
fonfliip, be make partakers of the inheri- 
tance ; *■ heirs of God and joint-heirs with 

It feems expedient that our Redeemer 
ihould have been made man, that the fame 
nature whiclv had finned fhould likewife 
fuffer ; and ° " that as mankind by man over- 
*' come was made obnoxious to death, fo 
" by man overcoming we fhould rife to life." 
This is evidently the apoflle's argument, 
when, he fays to the Hebrews — ^ it became 
him-^— bringing many Jons to glory, to make 
the captain of their falvation perfetl through 
fufferings ; for both he that, fandt'ifieth and 

^ Rom. viii. 17. God fent his fin— that <we might receive 
the adoption of fins. Gal. iv. 4, 5, 

' hen. L. v. c. 22. "• Heb. ii. lo, 11. 


S £ R M O N V; 193 

t^^ t^hi} aye fafiSl'ified are all of one, i. e. na- 
ture ot CoriditiSii ; for whkh caufe he is not 
^aikkd to call them brethren : and iagain, 
' forafmuch^^as the chiMreh are pdrtaktrs of 
fe/h and Mood, he blfo himfelftook part of the 
Jk^le,' thai through death ht might dejlroy 
him who had the power of death, &c. Thus 
did Chriji's human nature qUalify him for 
fufFeringi but his fufFerings ihuft acquire 
theiri;^i!th 'and value from foine higher 
(Quality :.f»and Ajreiy nothing but the dig- 
nity which belonged lb it, by virtue of its 
union v\rith the godhead, could make his 
bi^bd fo precious-, his facrifice fo merito- 
riousj ias t© ei*pik4e drid fatisfy his father's 
juftiee feir the fin^ of the wholis world. 

Chi'ift is the mediatol" not only of redemp- 
/irowi'but like<^ife df ihte'rceffion i and we 
tJHiy dlfcbtrei* a fithifs iirhy in that charac- 
ter hie Ih^ld partake of both nature^. His 
b&lng nian makes him rhore inclined, third' 
art exjieririiental fenfe df ddr iiifirniities, to 
p$t)»* and ft*cfco»r u^ i and #e, knowing 
that we have an interceffor of our own na- 

« Heb. ii, 14. 

N ture 

194 SERMON V. 

ture at the right hand of God, _ may ap- 
proach him with affurance of mercy. It 
was moreover requifite that he (hould be 
God; that the dignity of his perfon, and his 
relation with the Father, might add weight 
to his interceffion and confidence to our 
faith. ^ We have not an high^prieji who. 
cannot be touched with jhe feeling- of our in- 
firmities^ but one who was in all points tempt- 
ed as we are, yet without fin. ^ He continur 
ing for ever hath an unchangeable prieJihood\. 
wherefore he is able tofave them to tl)e, utter ~ 
mof that come unto God by him, feeing he 
ever livffth to make intercejjjqn for us. I am 
well aware of the advantage which P^pifts 
are wont to take of the difliniSion here 
made ; by aflerting, that though there be 
but one mcdhtor of redemption, y&tthere nmy 
be many mediators of intercejjiqn. But upon 
what t;ext of fcripture do they found th,is 
affertipn ? We are there taught in exprejfs 
words that ^ that there is one God, and one 
mediator between Gqd and men, the man Chriji 
fefus : one God, in qpppfition to the many 

' HeB. iv. jj. g Heh. vii. 24, 25. 

•" I Tim. ii. 5, 


S E R M O N V. 195 

heathen deities ; one mediator, in oppoiition 
to that multitude of inferior demons, whom 
' philofophers looked upon as mediators 
between gods and men. But to us, as 
there is but one God, fois there alfo but 
one mediator j who, as our Jacrifice, re- 
deemed us by (bedding his blood upon the 
crofs J and, as our high-prieji, in virtue of 
his blood thus (hed, intercedes for us for 
ever in heaven. " For though there be that 
are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth 
(<7j there be Gods many and Lords many) but 
to us there is but one God the Father, of whom 
are all things, and ive in him ; and one Lord 
y^fus Chrifl, by whom are all things, and we 
by him. 

It was he who from the beginning took 
under his Ipecial protedtion, comforted, 
and bleffed the faithful of all ages. Surely 
he, whofe ' delights were in the Jons of men 
while they were enemies, will not now. 


* I Ctr. viii. 5, 6. ' Brtm. viii. 31. 

N 2 when 

196 S E R M O N V. 

when he has reconciled them to God, ceafe 
to love an^ cherifh them ? He who guided 
and pfoteded the thtirch which ■" niuas not 
tailed by his namej hOw tnuch rhOre will 
he now, when he is fofemnly protkrmed 
and acknowledged its head, prefide over 
it, be its guardian, dire6i:or, and defender ? 
" IVho is he that condefntieth P il ii Chriji 
that died, yea rather ihst is rifen again, *who 
is even at the right hand of God, nvhr) alfo 
tnaketh inierceffion for us. " Let us therefore 
come boldly unto the throne of grate, that ii^e 
may obtain mercy, and find gract in the time 
of need : for '' To him that overco'meth will 
he grant to fit with him in his throne, even 
as he alfo overcame and is fit down with his 
Father in hif throne. 

^ If. Ixiii. ID. " Rom. viii. 34. 

• Heb. iv. 1 5. P X«w/.ui . 21. 

E «97. I 


I Cor. xi. ig% 

T&&^ vmfi be «ljk ben^es among you, 

'AS it not for t^f gooc^K^s of God» 
wj^ic^ |upns t^qfe thio^ whicfa^ 
are po^£3|ns of nature into uiccUciaes q% 
grace ; a zealous Chn&^sR could- opt but 
be ovq-whelnted wil^ mela»cko|^. reflec- 
tions, upon ph^viiig wUb how iiiud;^ 
dilSculty the mind qf man is wqfk^ upQiir 
to epibcace, and hpw ^ly pe^^4e4 ^ 
forfake, ^l»Fitual and divine tfu^St* Ifk 
all the works d£ art, time is. r^|»i^ l|e» 
fore the feeds of decay are introduced ; but 
in thofe of ^ace, foafcely is the building 
raifgd, but the beauty of it is defaced by 
N 3 fome 

198 S E R M O N VI. 

fome diforder, the pillars fliaken by fchirrn, 
the foundation undermined by herefy, and 
the whole fabric in danger of being over- 
thrown by apoftacy and infidelity. I pafs 
over the fatal fedudtion of our firft parents, 
and the numerous inilances in which their 
genuine offspring but too faithfully copied 
after their pattern during the Mofaical dif- 
penfation. -Hiftory, both facred and pro- 
fane, Js full of the earned expeftation 
with which the Jews looked for redemp- 
tion in Ifrael by the promifed MeJJtah ; yet, 
when tbi? objedt of all their wifhes and 
hopes appeared amongft them, with what 
cbftinacy and prejudice did they rejed him 
and his dbftrine ? They were indeed the 
fiv^ converts ; but they were likewife the 
fifft apojiates. Scarce was the good feed 
fown,' but ' thorns fprang up nvitb it, and 
choaked it. Many fell off totally and fi- 
nally from the gofpel : the few that re- 
mained were unfettled and wavering j falfe 
prophets arofe among them, '" handling the 
nvord of God deceitfully,^ and "^ corrupting the 

• l^tike viii. 7. * 2 dr. iv. 2, 

* 9 Cor. xi. 3. 



minds of others^^ the Jimplicity that is in 
Chriji. Diverfities of opinions were intro- 
duced j feuds, animofi'ties, and fchifms 
followed J unity was turned into divifioni 

the peace of the gofpel into fpiritual war. ' 

i- ,t 

' Ifthefe things were done in a green tree^ 
•what muji it be in the dry f If the husbandry 
of God planted and watered by the apoftles 
did, even whilfl they were alive, thus 
abound with tares j how could it be ex- 
pefted that, under the care of their fuc- 
ceffors, it fhould be exempted froth them? 
Indeed the reverfe is but too well attefled.' 
Even yerufaknit ' the mother of us all, 
this priiiiogenial church (which for fifteen 
fueceffions was governed by our Lord's 
kindred) ^remained no longer a virgin, 
than while fhe was under the tuition of 
James his brother : . Ihe was, immediately 

^ Luke sxai. 31. 

' Mifiif fyjoiB-m TZtjieMfiWiaf i iy 'it^eraXu/Mif, Cone. Coiifi, 
in Syn. Ep. 

TMf iiriir^-mf 'it la&f^ura -imtTti 'itne iii-i^ia rs xv^n iiarifn' 

flgiTalais' ligi^iTtii Va @Ee!f&<;, Jij^ is ft« •yitiS^iamt 'iir«Vi(jaa»,; 
iTrvipdeifeit. Eufeb, Ecc, Hift. L.iv. c. 2Z. . ' 

N 4 upon 


upon his death, corrupted with ftcange; 
adulterous d,o6trines by 'T/iebuthist who|q 
pride eould not brook having Simeon the^ 
fon of Cleopas preferred to the biftiopric^ 
before \\\m. T^has every, ojther church 
was infefted with them, cannot be denied 
hy, any one who is at all. converfarit with 
thje writings of the primitive fathers, whofe 
pious labours were, chiefly diredled againft 
the ^ herefies prevailing in their times j 
which, though refiftqd by the conftancy 
a,nd, zeal of many learned ch^Ripions of 
Ghriftianity, fpread their biajefulj poifon 
far and near ; ^nfomiich that, as ^ p,ufeHm, 
tqlls i^gii) hi^hfe oiC6nJiantmeithe, difputes. 
a^d diyifions arn,ong Chriftians rofe to that 
h.eigl?1| tha^ t^^^ pagans, took pccafipn frpfti, 
thqm,!^ expofe publicl^lj5 upon the ftage 
the yj^qerabl^ doftrines of divine truth to 
the rooft. indecent laughter and ridicuje*, jf 

Of thefe and fubfequent divifions mo- 
dern Jnfidels likewife have not failed to 
take a4^yaij.tag€. } urging, that the diverfity 

'."*'' . '■■■.. 

■-S Efiphaffim, in a, book written for that purpoi^ gives 
an account of eighty herefies which grew up w^ith the 

' L. ii. c. 6i. ' 

... rl \.'.i of 

S E R M Q N yi, goi 

Qf opjniQris among Chriftians ?iffedta tfeg 
twth of Chriftianity itfej/, is a proof of thq 
uncertayity at leaft q{ the divine authority 
it pretends to, and renders its pringiple? 
precarious and problernatical. 

To thl& argument againft the gofpel of 
C/iri^. the church of Rome gives greal 
countenance, by ftrenuoufly contending- 
that Unity among the members is a necef- 
fary mark of the (rue Church j which ,title 
fee- on that account arrogates to hcrfelf, 
and denies to the reformed churches j to 
ours in particular, becaufe of the diffQ- 
r-eot opinions maintained within it, and the 
various feds and irreconcileable commu-j 
nions thait have gone out from it. 

To th^ infidel we may obferve, that the 
difpuses and controveriies among ChriftianS' 
are not about the grounds and principles 
of their religion, and therefore do not af- 
fect Chriftianity in general, the foundations 
of which remain unfhaken : and though, 
different human explications of fome parti- 
cular dodrines render the different accep-i 
tation of tliofe dodkines dubious ; yet it- by* 



no means follows that the doftrines them- 
felves, much lefs the truth of Chriftianitjr, 
which is acknowledged by all the difpu- 
tants, is thereby rendered uncertain. There 
are, and always were, and (whilft our fa- 
culties remain limited) muft neceffarily 
ever be, various opinions in every other 
fcience as well as divinity : yet will any 
man from thence argue, that there are no 
certain principles any where j that fpecu- 
fations in philofophy are idle, and arts ufe- 
lefs ; that no man ought to attempt the 
recovery of his health or property ; but 
that all human affairs, allconcerns in civil 
and religious life, (hould ftand ftill ? We 
are told that there were in ancient Rcfme 
people from ' fix hundred different nations, 
who all followed a different way of wor- 
fhip : and in early Greece " there were as 
" many religions almoft as men ; for ^verf 
" man's religion was his fancy." WhenI 

' J^or this faft Mr. Callins^ in his preface to his Di/cotttfi 
Bn the grcundi, &c. quotes Liffius ; ^ut Lipfius only fays al- 
moft fix YiMnAttA, fexcenta nationes peine in urbem Jluxerantl 
De magnif. Rom. l.^j, c. 5. and this Lipfius in his. turn afi. 
ferts on the authority of Dionypus of Halicarnaffus ; where- 
as the hiftorian only fays a ■'very great number ; /iv^lat crat 
«( T9» vifin iKtifiv^irm i&m. Dion. 1. 2, p. 86. Ed. Hu4f. , 


S E R M O N VI. 203 

fcience got footing among them, *• the 
** philofophers, with which that country 
" abounded, were divided into all poffible 
*• fentiments concerning the moft impor- 
** tant points of fpeculation," And why 
fliould the enemies of Chriftianity bring 
that as an argument againft revealed, which 
it is not unufual for them to produce in 
favour oi natural, religion. *• The variety, 
fays '' one, " and. the altercation among 
*• them whetted the wits of Greece." 
** Reafon, fays ' another, had fair play j 
** politenefs prevailed J learning and fcience 
«^ fiouriftied." Debate therefore, accord- 
ing to their principles, is the key to know- 
ledge r it opens the mind, and enlarges the 
udTdefftanding-: and our greateft adverfaries 
moft acknowledge, that controverfies and 
fehifms in the church have been attended 
with-thefe happy confequences. This was 
fOTefe^n by '^a pagan philofopher, " ^hemif- 
ttus i who, in order to perfuade the empe- 
ror Valens to moderate his per|ecution of 
thofe who were of different fentiments from 
himfelf, ingenuoufly tells him, that the 

^Collins. ^ Shaftshury on Enthus. ;.,, 

^ Stcraf.'l, 4. c. 32. Sczom, 1., 6. c. 36. 



difagreement of opinions among the Chrif-» 
tians was bijt inconfiderable, if compared 
VBith that which obtained wiong the 
Greeks ; praying him withal to confidcE, 
that the moft excellent and itieful, arts, 
nay philofophy itfejf, the mother of all 
good arts,had rifen from fmall beginnings j 
and would never have arpyed to fuch an, 
height of p©rfedion, but by the difFerencq 
of judgement and ftrife among artifts and 

What was, the ftate of learning, when 
men, bafely fubmittiog to • the yoke pf 
papal tyranny, durflt not judge for thero^ 
felves, but. blindly embraced and impUcitlyr 
followed every dodtriae propofed to them 
by their fpiritual guides ? Ignorance and, 
error ufurped tlie feats of kn<:?wjedge aj|4 
truth, idolatry aijcj fuperftition. the, alta^r^ 
of religion and pi?ty. But when the Chrif-* 
tian world, weary of the ufurpation of 
Rome, began to eanvafs.the tenets of relict 
^ion, learning revived, an4 enabled its: vor* 
taries to det^flj aiid expofe the corruptions} 
with which truth had been long obfcured 
and difgraced : for true religion aqd learn- 

^ E R M O N VI. z6s 

ilig have always gbtie hand in hand ; the 
hmt fays of intelleflual h'ght have con- 
ftaiitly difperlfed the clouds of ignorance 
^nd trtof. Contentions about the fehfe 
of fcriptuTC introduced the ftudy of it 
in the original, At\d this occasioned a cul- 
tivation of the learned languages j which 
atnply repaid literature foir the affiftances' 
^hich religion had borrowed from it. It 
is to divifions in the church that we owe 
(hofe ineftinaable Ireafufes of divine know- 
ledge, the Writings of the apdltles, and thofe 
of the Tartcient fathers, whofe learning and 
good fenfe render them' vsrell worthy the 
attention fof every fcholar. To them We 
s(re indebted for the revival of literature 
affttbtlg us, for the invaluable works of 
our firfl fdPofmers and their fuccefToi'd, 
both againfl:' the; papifls and the numerous 
feparatifts ffofti our communion J writings, 
w^hich prejudice itfelf caniiot rank below 
iHy huflian compofition whatfoever. God 
*• fuffered his holy dpoftle 'thomas to doubt 
for the hiOfe confirmation of the faith:" 
afifd for the faftie pufpofe has he permitted 
other Christians to doubt, that the truth 
might be more carefully ex^amined, and 



more firmly, eftablifhed : and that its pro- 
feflbrs. being, after a diligent and accurate 
difcuflion, rationally fettled in their belief; 
might become more honeft and fincere in 
their profeffion. To herefies, nay to in- 
fidelity itfelF, the whole Chriftian world is 
obliged for th6fe lafting. provifions heretO'^ 
fore made in this country for the defence 
of religion : to them is owing the prefent 
inftitiition ; which it is to be hoped will, 
through the bleffing of God on the abili- 
ties of thofe who fucceed me, anfwer the 
pious and generous defign of its author,^ 
promote the honour of this feat of learn- 
ing, advance true religion, and efFedually 
fecure the bulwarks of Chriftianity againft 
the fccrel artifices of its concealed, and the 
open attacks of its declared enemies. 

It is objedted to us, that our difputes 
with one another make convulfions in go- 
vernments, and involve neighbourhoods in 
feuds and animofities ; whereas " among 
the pagans different notions never difturb- 
ed the civil government j and the philofo- 

" See Collins, ubi fupra. 



phers thetxifelves, though they wrote in 
behalf of their feveral oppofite fentiments, 
have not left a book behind them written 
with the leafl: fpirit of rancour or maligni- 
ty- We will not at,prefent controvert the 
latter part of the aflertion : but with re- 
gard to the former, let it be obfervedi 
that the argument lies againil the profef- 
for, not the profeffion. Chriftianity, fo 
far from encouraging virulence, every 
where inculcates meeknefs and charity, 
and bids us " put. away all bitternefsy and 
wratb, and anger j and clamour, and. evil 
/peaking, with all malice. Yet this forbear- 
ance is not to degenerate into coldnefs and 
indifference; we are exhorted to ^contend 
earnejily for the. faith once delinsered to the 
faints. Errors, however multiplied among 
believers,- are no proofs againft the truth 
of religion j but zeal and fervor in difpute 
is an argument of the fincerity joi the con- 
tending parties, ,and of the dignity and 
importance of the thing contended for. 
Where a difpute appe^ars light and trivial, 
a matter of ^urlofity and mere fpeculation, 

• Efhe/.'vr. 31, P Jude 3. 


%p% S E R M ON VI. 

it is feafy to debate with civility, and make 
the difpute a diverfion and enteMainitierit i 
but when men are perfuaded that thecaufe 
they have undertaken is the caufe of truth, 
the caufe of Godj an^ that their eternal 
welfaire is intimately dnd riecteiTarily con- 
aefted with it,, zeal will naturally and in- 
feniibly hUtry the meeteft into indifcretion, 
thofe bf a wariti temper into violence and 
acrimony j who through fear of betray- 
ing, to© dften hy their condudl diflionourj 
that tl'uth which by their reafonings they 
defetld and confirm. u. 

^ The name of Chriftian is jcommibn to 
€v€fy feft which profelTes Ghriftianitj^^ as 
th^t ©f J»hilofD|xher is to eVery one who pre- 
tends to ftudy philofophjf : and therefore 
the difFerent opinions, the errors,, «nd ah* 
Ai^diii^s of Ghriilians ought not to be 
charged td Chriftianity^ any more than the 
di^rdfit Gpiniorts, errors, and abfctrditles 

^ ' TkiS jttgBinWi Miirtade afe of by ^aj^i'fi Martyr ii< hi/ 
jlitleej/ to Antottinas Piits ; .where he takes notice of many 
j^/p^ffiti kfefe #liidl it-eri, to t lie' grb'aft icdnMrf 
Chriftianity, even then maintained. Jpol. ad Ant. p. c^. 
Ed.OxBn. ., 


S i R M O N VI. ji>09 

pf pJwlpfophers tp philpj^p||jy itfelf. T^ey 
d^epd upon aiad proceed ^pn> the d^ite^r- 
mUiRt^f^i pf owr min.ds ^o4 wiljs, which 
God has pot thought fif .to in 
the peconqruy of the f:hpff^t any mpff? 
tihafl ifl th,e paoFal^ver,nment gf the .world. 
Wh^t Tieafpjj can >he .^^^ed, why -Pfl^ 
fliavijd •e;^rt his ^hxyi^hty ppweif iiji rp^ 
firajp^g ' .I)btrephes ^kp ioved the pref\ 
emlneme io the ph^rdti frpRi ^defij^icql^ 
any nwje tiwn other ,94Sibiggvis i^^&iji who 
Ipvc pre-eminence m rth^ iftate i^axxxficular 
rebellion ? All human fo^iet^es are !fubje<3: 
to inteftine differences and commotions; 
armies !tP!m.atini,es, Jsjiqgdpros to xehellipns j 
befyu^jthejwep^ers, j:^,\firhic^i they arecpniT, 

ppjfcjd^e oatvW^JyfCy^i*^!?^ *P thP^e paflions 
fr^iP^ ^%P!ce gaiaMW^ p4 reheUipns arife j 
ai^^.fpr tl^ fame reafon ,ti|ie ;churj;h jiP^R^ 
neepjIJ^i^ytJie fe^,ofed J» ,fi9?itftr inconv.e^ 
oiqipiiejs as j;he bpdyj^oli|i;ip : wh^chj^owr 
ev^ j^x& in |bpth ,a*te|fiie4 with ^\^ p^entva} 
a^y^imi^g^ j^at :by that .mean^ jo^d fubr 
je^s^re ^iftiPRgwibfeid ,frp«i tihe .b^d, 4P' 
cerp Ap4 faithful .QhiiiJ^iws ftqipp -the,v^^ 
<k»dy ajjd .hyppcdtjpaL ^j 

O The 

210 S E R M O N VI. 

The different opinions which have at 
all times obtained in the church are a di- 
reQ. and full confutation of that foul af- 
perfion caft upon us by our adverfaries, 
that a Chriftian is in his belief . merely paf- 
five : they are a proof that the dodtrines of 
our religion are examined, lifted, and can- 
vaffed by its profeflbrs ; that they make 
ufe of their underftanding j and, though 
like other men liable to prejudices, do not 
give their afTent without confulting' that 
reafon with which God has for this purpofe 
endued every man. 

The neceflity of defending our holy faith 
againft modern infidels, and its particular 
dodtrines againft the corruptions and'per- 
verfions of modern heretics, has caufed 
Chriftianity to be viewed in every li^ht ; 
every part of it to be more clearly explain- 
ed, and the whole better underftood than 
it was or poflibly tould be in thofe ages, 
when a fervile attachment to prefcribed 
opinions kept the intelledtual faculties of 
mankind in a ftate of perpetual ftagnation; 
To thefe advantages the divifions'.which 
obtained in the primitive ^hurch have 


^ SERMON VI. 211 

greatly contributed^ by furnifliing us with 
a moft conclufive argument for the authn- 
tictty, as well as by being made an inftru- 
ment of preferving the purity of the facred 
oracles. ' "So firmly, fays Irenteus, are 
** the gofpels eflabliflied, that the heretics 
** themfelves bear teftimony to them, each 
" of them endeavouring to confirm his 
** tenets by their ai^thority." This put 
them all as well as the orthodox upon their 
gu&rd, and made them vigilant againft the 
corruptions and interpolations of ,oppofite 
fefts. And thus to herejies it is under the 
providence of God owing, that the records- 
of the- Chriftian faith have heen tranfrait- 
ted down to us without any material alte- 
ration : the fufpicions and jealoufies of 
Chriftians of all denominations being cdn- 
ftantly kept awake; efpecially in the early 
ages, when any innovations attempted to be 
introduced- in .fcripture could imnaediately 

' Tail ta eft autem circa. haec,ie\^ngelia firmitas, ut et 
ipfi ha:retici teliimonium reddaivt eis, et ex ipfis egrediens 
unufquifque eorum xoijetur fuairi Confirinare dodlrinam. — 
Quando ergo hi qui contradicunt'nobis teftimonium perhi- 
beant et utantur his, firs^a et vera eft noftr^ de ijlis oileniiot 
Ireu. adv. h<er. 1. 3. c. ii. 

O 2 (whilft 

aiz SERMON Vi: 

(whilft ihe originals were yet extant) be by 
collation deteded and confuted. 

Thefe are the ^^ntunl advantages ariling 
from herefies and ichifn>6 : were theft 
wanting, yet ought they not to iftaggcr our 
faith, or iaduce us to doubt of any of the 
do<ftri4ies of our religi^ii. Thfe writings 
of the Evangelifts awd Aportles abound 
with exhortations to unity and concord j 
the fpirit of Chriftiai*ity breathes nothing 
but love, peace, and charity : Yet the au- 
thor of Our religion, by Ms prophetic fpi*' 
fit, declared that he was * not cmne to give 
p&ace OH earth, hut rather divijion. The 
dx^dlriwes of Chriiftia*iity are laid down in 
fcripture with a pkihnefs arid perfpituity 
Hifficienl' and fetisfa<3'Ory to every well- 
difpctfed mind : yet we are every where 
cautibned agiinft JiiM jdbSri'nes ahd falfs 
pr-&phets who Were td afilfe, againft"" wf«oj'^ 
corrupt minds f who raife pernierfe difputings. 
Thefe difputings and divifions in a reh'glofa, 
whofe dodtrines and precepts are fo averife 
to them, are furely proofs of the divine 

* i»^«xii. 51. » I I'm. vi, 4, 5. 


S E R M O N VI, 213 

infpiration of thpfe wb<j foretold tjaem i 
and therefore fo far frooi |)eing an obj^c-!- 
tion agaiait their religion, they axe gn th9 
contrary a ftrong confirmation of its truth 
and divine orlginail. And as fuch they ar^ 
adduced by " j%?«i the Martyr againft 
^ryfho : For that 'uery reafin^ fays he, {b^ 
cauje there are fu(h men wto prfff^ff them* 
Jkhes Chr^iaas^ and ackwrnledge the cruet' 
fied Jtfui to be tbeir Lqrd and Chrifi^ yet dei 
mt tfocb his dddrines, hut tbofe of thej^irks 
ofJeduMim) we 'ushofolkw the true and pure 
doUrme of J ejus Cbrift are thereby cat^rmed 
in our faith, end in the hope r^eakd 6y 
him^ For what be by his pr^frifi^e foretdi 
Jhould be done in bis name^ th<^ very th^giS 
we fee with our own eyes aStually accomplijh- 
ed. He then quotes feveral paiTages, where- 
in our Saviour foretells ^<i7^0ii/ and ^^;7^«/i 
and warns his difciples againft "^falfe Qhri/ls 
end falfe prophets i (Ufhieh eming^tn Jkeep'A 
ektjdng, but l>0ng inwardly ravening wohes» 
fbsidd deceive many ; nay ^ii was pf^b^ the 
veryi-eleB. To thefe laight eafily be »dded 

' 1' ■ ~ r ';'■ ' '■ - ^ 

w Dial. p. loo. Ed.Jtbb. 

* Matth. vii. 15. Mattb. xxir. Ii, 34. 

O 3 a very 

214 S E R M O N VI. 

ft very large catalogue from the writings of 
the apoftles > which abound with predic- 
tions of herefies, and forewarn us of great 
corruptions of the faith, and in particular of 
one folemn defection and apoftacy, which 
was to '' " overfpread the vifible face of 
" the catholic church of Chriji, and eclipfe 
** the light of Chriftran verity and belief." 
T'here Jhall bejalfe teachers among you, fays . 
St. Peter, who JJsall'brin'^n damnable here- 
Jies, even denying the 'Lord who bought them. 
' Tke^/pirit, fays St. Fault Jpeaketh exprefs- 
iy, that in the latter times fame Jhall depart 
froM' the faith, giving heed to /educing fpirits 
and doSlrines of devils — -forbidding to marry, 
and commanding to abjlainfrom meats, &c. 

This laft prediAi'on naturally puts us in 
mind of that church, the members of 
which (as we have obferved before) on 
account of the many fefts and divifions 
amohgft u*, and their great pretended 
unity among themfelves, fallacioufly con- 
cludCi and often perfuade men of weak 
underftandings, that our church cannot be. 

y Mr. Mede's Difcourfe on 2 Pet. ii. I. 
* I Tim. iv. I. 



but that theirs mufl be and is, the true 

Neither variety of opinions, nor even 
divifioDS and Cchifms, can be an argument 
againll the truth and catholicity of any 
church, for this plain reafon — becaufe they 
are, in the nature of things, incident to 
all churches: and fu rely nothing can be 
concluded from a common affedlion of all 
churches agairift any particular church, any 
more than againfl an individual from a 
misfortune common to all mankind. When 
our Saviour was told of * the Galileans, 
whofe blood Pilate mingled with their Jacri- 
Jices ', hefaid, Suppofe ye that thefe Galileans 
were Jinners above all Galileans, becaufe they 
Juffer^fiich things? I tell you nay. We 
muft not intrude into the councils of pro- 
vidence, and judge of perfons by God's 
vifible difpenfations towards them, but by 
their converfation towards God : and in 
the like manner we ought not to pafs a 
fentence of condemnation upon a church, 
becaufe of God's prefent vifitation of it in 

a Luke xiii. i , &c. 

O 4 the 

il6 S £ R M d M tl. 

iHw ftWefies dnd fc'hifois 6f forwe bf its 
members, but on the contrary forfft ouj* 
judgement of it by the faith which it pro- 

"•feiFes, tbe d'bfEriiles which it teaches, stnd 
Hhd manner iri which C&fi/I h Vvorfhippe^, 
^d bis facraments admii^iftr'ed. '' // ^ai 
iee'ji declared, fays St. Paul to the Cafin'* 
ttlidHs, that there be dontentions a^dngydi^. 

•'^^—M'otf-y one of you faith, I am of Paul, and 
1 6/ Apollo's, and I of Cephas, and t tfChrifl. 
Sbttie cff thdm defpifed his apoftoHcal flu-* 
thotfty ; rtiy fom6 deftied the refurredtioii, 
■W-ftleh is d ftf Adamdfif ^1 article of the Chrif- 
tiart^ fihrh : yet rtotWirbftandirlg thefef 
fehifrtis aiid herefi^*, a:n(f the fcaodalotfS 
^iceS of particular peffons found amdng 
<aefti, lit falittes tti both his Epiftles thd 
<^Hcirch kl gefler^I by the title of the church 

It is urtfdfl irt trtte gditet'al irtfereft which 
ddnftittites tha very idea of a community i 
and CorirthdriitidS fdtmed upon bad priii- 
ciple^ drtd fbt bad purpofes oftetttirtieS 
igrfetih^ better itnmg themfelves thart the 
good and holy, unity alone cannof be an 

^ I Cor. i. II, iz. 



^foMe diftiogiaiiihing character of the 
truth. . ' The fchifsttatieal, Ifraelites, who 
formed a reparation under Corah, were as 
firmly cbbttefted as thofe wha prefefved 
fheir aUegi&EiiCe to M^fes and ^aren; nei- 
Hb&t were the two tribes, which ferved the 
true God at Jerufalem, ntiore at unity 
aindng thenofelves than the ten others it) 
the falfe worflbip at Bethel: yet this very 
mfiion was criminal in the fight of God, and 
therefore br|»ight upon both focieties chofe 
dreadful punilhments that are recorded in 
holy writ. Where do we read of fuch per- 
fed: unity and agreement as in tha.t ^, apof- 
tate Co^gregationy when both people and 
Kigh«<prieft joined in fnakiflg the golden 
calf, rearing an ^tar before it, offering 
facrifices, dedicating a folemn feftiVal in 
its honour, and (houting without one dif- 
fentient voice — Hbefe be thy Gods, O 
yrdek iiBhieh brought thee out of the land 
of Ugypt ? Neverthelefe did this perfect 
concord and unanimity recommend or juf* 
tify their defedion ? It was a confederacy 
in rebellion and apoftacy ; and therefore 
would have been their utter deftrudion, 

xvi. * Exed. xxii. 



had not Mofes by his interceffion turned 
God from his wrathful indignation. 

At what period was the Chriflian world 
more united, than when Conftantius and 
* Valens by their perfecutions and cruel- 
ties had almoft extirpated the Nicene faith, 
and eftablifhed Arianifm over the whole 
empire ; when truth was confined to the 
deferts, and error reigned triumphant in 
the habitable provinces and the metropolis 
of the world ? 

Union is an ornament to a good caufe, 
but no argument in faivour of a bad one. 
If a dhurch is no longer to be accounted 
true and catholic than whilft the members 
of which it is compofed are unanimous, 
what (hall we fay in defence of thfe primi- 

* Falens ordered at one ftroke eighty ecclefiaftics (who 
were deputed by the catholics to lay before him their grie- 
vances and the violence of the Arians) tobe put to death; 
They were all put on bsard one veflel ; which was fet on lire 
at fome diftance from the land by the mariners, who fave.d 
themfelves in the boat. The veflel with thofe that were 
left in it was entirely confumed. Socrat. 1. 4. c. 16. The 
hiftorian adds, that this barbarity did not efcape the ven- 
geance of heaven, but was puniilied by a dreadful famine. 
See Univ. Hift. T. XVI. p. 333. 


S E R M d N VI. 219 

live church '; which, as we have feen be- 
fore, was from the very beginning rent 
afunder by herefies and fchifms ? What 
will the church of Rome fay for itfelf, when 
^ NovdtianUs, one of her own prefbyters, 
raifed a fchifm in the midll of her which 
foon grew into a perfedt feparation? When 
^ Liberius fubfcribed to the fentence of the 
Arian bifliops, and joined communion with 
thofe who granted to Conjiantius the title 
of eternity, which they denied to the Son of 
God? Where was its boafted union, when 
on the death of hiberius two different per- 
fons, Vrfinus and Damajiis, were eledted 
bifhops of Rome ; part of the clergy and 
people adhering to one and part to the 
other, " with violent animofities and blood- 

" *' Notiatius, a prieft of Carthage, who had caufed a fchifm 
tkere againft Cyprian being then at Rome pineA^No'vatia- 
nui. They are often confounded. This' fchifm happened 
in the year 252. See Eujih: Eift. Eccl. 1. 9. c. 43. 

s Liberius was made biihop of Rome in the year 352. 
Ammanus in the 15th book of his hiftory tells us, that Con- 
fiautius aftually took the title oi eternal: and Atbanajms re- 
proaches the Arians with acknowledging it. Ilsji t5 xv^iw 

fXfTiot' iivns JO «» i riv evyxr»aii riif iuritiHM eniltis VK^'s^at' 

Athanaf. de Synod. 

* Ammianus Marcellinus tt\h us, that the prator Vicentius 
was obliged to quit the town, and mentions as a certain 


220 S E R M O N VI. 

ftied on both fides? When, to afcend 
fomewhat higher, in the time of Zephyri* 
nusj ' Natalis the confeflbr having through 
vanity and avarice embraced the herefy of 
'Theodotus was the occafion and the head 
of a fchifmatical feparation, being made 
bifhop by the heretics, and receiving from 
them a monthly falary ? Let this pretend- 
ed pattern of union and concord, this 
boafted center of Chriftendom^recoUedl the 
bitter and fierce contentions that have been 
among its members about the depofing power^ 
the perfonal infallibility of the pope^ the au- 
thority of general councils, the immaculate 
■conception, and various other dodtrines j 
Thomijis, Scotijls, Occdmijis ; Dominican^, 
Prancifcans, fMnfeniJis, Molinijis, and fe- 
futts, all againft each other ; nay council 
againft council, and pope againft pope. 
Let them xcco\\Q€tfchifms, not proceeding 
from different dodtrines, but of a far more 

faft, that there were no lefs than 1 3,7 perfons killed in the 
church in one day. — Conftat in blfiliCa Sicinini, ubi ritus 
Chriftiani eft conventiculafri, unodie centum trigihta fep- 
tem reperta cadavera peremptorum. Amm. Marcett. 1. 27. 
' This happened about the year 206. Nataihafieiv/itii 
acknowledged his faalt, and was admitted again into the 
bofom of the church. Eu/ei. Ecc. Hiji. 1. 5. c. 28. 


SERMON Vr. 221 

fcandalous nature, betwixt feveral preteh- . 
ders to tiie chair of St. 'Peter; each of" 
^otn, with an equal arrogance and the 
fkmfe claim to infallibility, thundered'fortli 
his ana^emas againft hiS cohafietitbrs and 
all their adherfents. Let them, I fay, re- 
colledt all this ; and then, if unity muft be 
tlie ordeal of a true church, let them ajT- 
fiame and appropriate that name to them- 
fblvies. ' ' 

It^ is not bare untfy, but the bbjeft and 
the caufe of the union j it is unity in the 
true do(5brine, in the true worfliip, and in 
thfe true adminiftratibn of tlie facraments j' 
it ts holding f&e communion of faints that 
nta^kes' a chtircli truly fcattielic an 3 apaf-, 
tolical -y and therefore though the fediries 
and hieretics in this nation were infinitely 
more numerous than they are j yet wMle 
the Church of EngldnB continues to pre- 
ferve within itfelf that unity whidbr we 
Jiiave juil now (ieiibribeid, thoiib that adhere 
to its do6trine arid worfliip, liovvevfiir^" intj 
coniiderable in ikind or Diumber, miaflr not- 
withftandin^ jcbnfl:itu,te a truly catholic 
and apoftolic chuf^ch. We have «VBpy eff- 

• ' fential 


fential charadter of unity with the catholie 
church of Chrijly ^ one Lord, one faith, one 
baptifm. We acknowledge and pay obe- 
dience to the fame head oi, the whole 
Chriftian church, not an earthly, bijhop, but 
our Lord Jefus Chriji. We have unity 
with it in the profeffion of the fame faith 
ai}d doSirine, not founded on the authprity 
of man, but of God — that common ^ faith 
once delivered to the faints, and" contained in 
the holy fcriptures. We are at unity with it 
in the adminijiration and participation of the 
facraments according to Chriji\ own infti-^ 
tution and the appftolical pra<ftiee. " By 
one fpirit we are all baptized in one body. 
" We being many are one bread and one body, 
for we are all, partakers of that,', one bread^^ 
° We are all made to drink info, one fpirit. 
Thefe are the efiential marks and charac-r 
ters of Chriftianity J which marks what- 
ever particular church maintains inviolate, 

•= Ephef. iv. 5. Una.'nobis et Uii? ficles, unusDeus, idem 
Cbriftus, eadem fpes, eadem laivacri faeramenta :. femel 
dixerim Una Ecclefia fumus. Tertiill, de Ffrg. Naiji curai 
Dbminits unus atqife idem fit, qui Habitat in, nobis, con- 
jungit ubique et copulat fuosvintiilouiiitatis. .f/W/w/. apud 
Cypr. Ep. 75. ,,■,... 

' yude ^. ■" I Con xii. t-^l "' 

" I Cor. X. 17. ,' " I Cor. xii. 13. 



maintains unity with the catholic church : 
on the contrary, whatever church departs 
from any of thcfe departs from cathoHc 
unity, and confequently thofe that feparate 
from fuch a church prove themfelves to be 
true Chriftians, departing from error, 
idolatry, and fuperftition j they maintain 
and manifeft their adherence to and com- 
niwnibn with the catholic chuj-ch oi Cbrijl; 
they obey the commands of CJod — ■" Come 
out of her, my\p€ople, that ye be not partakers 
of herons, and that ye receive not her plagues. 

-: As it is our duty to feparate from thofe 
who. depart from the true faith and wor- 
fhip of " Ghrill, fo are we on the other 
hand indifpenfilily bound to maintain ca- 
tholic unity i firmly to adhere to, and on 
no account withdraw from, the commu- 
nion of thofe who preferve the dodrines 
and linftitutions, of our Saviour and his 
Apbftles., Ev^ry adt of communion with 
fuch z particular chnrchj is at virtual com-' 
mwhion with the whole catholic church 

* Revel, xviii. 4. 


824 S E R M O N VL 

diffufive J and tonfequently ^ a feparation 
from it is a virtual reparation from the 
catholic cfaucich 3 it is a renunciation of 
concord and oorrefpondep-ce with all men 
and all focieties of men ppofeiUng the fame 
faith, and paying the fame ohedience to 
the laws enjoined fey Chr^ and his diici^ 
pies : which is the true Chriftian notion of 
fchifm, and conftitutes its guilt. ' It muft 
Keeds bey fays St. Matthew ^ 'ecttttfj^mli e^ t^fere 
is a neceiffity (not a prober i^d abJoiuH hut 
a cmdttioml neoeflity) that >(^in.ces fitm14 
come ; confidering the ftate of the world 
(■which is a ftate of probation ) ihe foee- 
dom of man''s w^il, and the frailty of hig 
nature, it is morally impsJ^Ueim, as St, 
j[;?<i^^ explains St. MattJjew-, *--«tii^hQ»vh^'^ 
is -not to be ^xpeiaed Imt that offences m^ 
come : but fuch a neeeffity' as this, arrfing 
entirely from the perv^erfeoefs and wicfced- 
nefs of man, does fey no mea«ns cKtenuate 
guilt, or excufe *him who in any meagre 
or -degree contributes to this eviil : sfor it is 
added, J¥e t$ the man by whom tthe -effeme 

^ 'O rigir tni^t ifteit memneit iTrntigc/iirxav /ti t-mi^tuiro 
if'TS' ' Matt. ]xviii. 7. ' » Luh xvii. i. 


SERMON' VI. 225 

Cometh: As by herefies the good fo lilcewife 
the bad are made manifefl ; by herefies 
publicly and objiinately maintained ; for herefy 
confidered as a private opinion kept fecret 
within the breaft of the perfon who holds 
it, however dangerous to himfelf, cannot 
be produdlive of thofe mifchiefs which the 
apoftle complains of. By herejies he means 
falfe do<3:rines publicly and obftinately main- 
tained ;' by which animofities and ftrifei 
divifions and fchifms, are introduced into 
the church j the weak are fcandalized, and 
the unwary feduced j religion expofed to 
contempt, and the truth of God to re- 

To effedlthis his purpofe, the enemy 
of mankind has never failed finding proper 
inftruments among the ignorant, tlie vain, 
the ambitious, and the contentious. When 
churches indeed are guilty of fuperftition 
and idolatry, or any other corruption 
either in faith or pradlice j fo far from en- 
deavouring or wifliing to difiinite them by 
diverfities of opinions, he will by all pof- 
fible means ftrengthen ' the bands of their 
union in his intereft, keep them firmly and 

f ileadily 

226 S E R M O N VI. 

fteadily attached to their corruptions. On 
the contrary, the nearer a church approaches 
in its dodtrine and worfhip to ancient and 
primitive purity, the more he exerts every 
nerve, and employs all his fubtilty and 
malignity to weaken and difgrace it by 
contentions and diviiions, if not againfl 
faith yet again ft charity. For what fac- 
tion and rebellion are in the ftate, that 
fchifm and feparation are in the church ; 
and therefore God allows of none but what 
are neceffary : they are deftrudtive of all 
peace and order,' and tend to the confuflon 
and bane of Chriftian fellowfliip and cha- 
rity, to the decay and ruin of Chriftian 
piety. Men may talk of love and mutual 
forbearance; but whilft altar is fet up 
againft altar and church againft church, it 
is morally impoftible but there muft be 
animofities and envyings, reproaches and 
contempt to the 'advancement of the com- 
mon enemy, and the weakening of the 
common caufe. 

Thefe particulars — the heinous fin of 
fchifm, ' the author and promoter of it, its 

* Ignatius in his epiftle to the Iralhjiaui bids them be- 
ware of reparation and diviiloRS as thtfnares af the icvil; 


S E R M O N VI. 227 

mifchievous effedls, the dirgrace and detri- 
ment it brings on Chriftianity in general — 
thefe particulars every true Chriftian can- 
not but wifh were fcrioufly confidered by 
thofe, who being originally engaged in the 
fame caufe with us have withdrawn them- 
felves from our communion j that they 
would lay to heart the woful confequences 
of thefe unhappy divifions, and ceafe to 
rend the feamlefs coat of Chriji, left to- 
gether with it they tear his body alfo ; 
that they would perufe with attention 
and without prejudice not only the writ- 
ings of our own, but thofe of "foreign 
divines; thofe of fome of the moft eminent. 

he advifes the Ephefians to meet often together and receive 
the facrament in peace and unanimity, as the only method 
to weaken the fo-wers of Sataa, and prevent the ruin he 
would otherwife bring upon them by divilion. Indeed all • 
the eccleiiaftical writers conflantl'y afcribe herefies and 
fchifms to the craft and artifice of the Devil, It was, I 
conceive, in allnfion to this that Ptlycarp called Marcioa 
the eldeft fon of the Devil. 

" Their opinion may be feen in Diirdl, Comber, Falkner, 
&c. It is worthy of obfervation that the many thoufands, ' 
all Cal'vtmjls, who came over to this kingdom from France 
on account of their religion, joined communion with the ' 
Church of England, not with the Hiffenters ; though the 
laws of -the land left them their free choice and liberty. 

P 2 among 

228 S E R M O N VI. 

" among themfelves concerning the doBrine, 
xhtworjhipt and the minijlry of the church 
oi England. If they would do this, I am 
perfuaded that the mofl fober among 
them would return, and heal the wounds 
which they have made ; they would find 
that the fcruples which have been raifed 
in their minds do not concern the funda- 
mentals and effentials of religion, and 
therefore cannot juftify a feparation : they 
would find that the terms of our commu- 
nion are lawful; they would return and 
". have fellowjhip with us ; and truly our f el- 
lowJJoip is with the Father, and with his Son 
Jefus Chrijl. 

If fcruples however about mere accidents 
and circumftances fhould induce any one, 
"' contrary to the judgement and ufage of 

" See Tht Cafe of Lf^-ComiHumon by Dr. WilRami. 

* I John i. 3. _ 

"I Enfehius having given an account of different xites and 
obfervances in the eaftern and weftetn churches adds that, 
notwithftanding that dlverfity, they maintained unity and 
communion : luHi iXter^ti Ttanitf iprtt a^i»tvmt It, )^ ttfl- 

tH; ■xi^a! (w»ifTj«j. When Bolytarp came to Rome in the 
time of Anicetus ; though there was a difference of opinion 
between them, yet they faluted each other with ,the kifs 
of charity : and though neither would-give up his opinion, ■ 



the primitive church, to break the unity 
of communion j let them not tempt him 
to break the unity of benevolence and cha- 
rity. Let not zeal for purity be thought 
a fufficient plea for fpiritual pride and in- 
tolerance; for railing accufations againft 
thofe from whom he differs ; for bitter in- 
vedtives againft ihftitutions which tend to 
decency, order, and edification j for odious 
refledtions on a form of worfliip which rea- 
fon and fcripture approve -, for thofe foul 
reproaches of fuperftition and papiftical. 
corruption, with which how unjuftly we 
are charged the common enemy found to 
his coft, when the church of England to- 
wards the clofe of the laft century flood 
alone in the gap, and flemmed the torrent 
of popery rufhing in and ready to over* 
whelm the land. ■ < 

Of the truly Chriftian fpirit of forbear- 
ance and charity let us fet thfe example i 

yet tliey received the Eucharifl together ; Anicetus in his 
p\yn church yielding up out pf fefpe^ the confecration qf 
the elements to Poly carp ; "aftej- which they departed in 
peace. This hiftory, he adds, Iren<fus recorded, and re- 
commended for the peace and union of the chCirch. Eufeb. 
■gc, H. 1. 5. c. 24. 

P 3 M% 

230 S E R M O N VI. 

let us endeavour to reclaim thofe, who 
have feparated from us, with zeal but 
with temper; Mutual revilings widen the 
breach and fhut up all avenues to con- 
vidtion ; if thefe were once open and pre- 
judices-^removed, the voice of truth would 
foon be heard, the altars fet up in oppofi- 
tion to the altar at Jerufalem be pulled 
down by thofe that raifed them, and the 

* city be once more at unity in itfelf: then 

* would yaiob rejoice and Ifrael would he 
glad', and the enemies of our holy religion 
(fully convinced by our concord and unity 
that 'the kingdom of God is right eoufnefs, and 
peace, and joy in the Holy Ghoji) would like- 
viiie fallow after the things which make for 
peace, ^be like-minded one towards another 
according to Chriji fefus, and together with 
us with one mind and one mouth glorify God, 
even the Father of our Lordjefus ChriJl. 

* P/. cxxii, 3. ' a P/ xiv, 7. 

' I Cor. xiv. 25. * Ram, xiv. 17. 

*■ Rom. XV. 5, 6. 

{This, fubjeft was very, fully and ably difcuffed by 
feverai eminent divines during the Popiflr Cmtro- 
•vtrjjf, and particularly by the learned Dr. Hickes. ] 

[ 231 ] 



2 Pet. i. 19. 

We have alfo a more Jure word of prophecy,, 
•whereuntoye do nvell that ye take heed. 

E have feen in the foregoing dif- 
courfe how punctually pur Saviour's 
prediction of the fad eilate of the primitive 
church was fulfilled ; how it was infefted 
with herefies and fchifms, even during the 
days of the Apoftles, to whom • God bore 
witnefs 'voithjigns and wonders, and divers mi- 
racles, and gifts of the Holy Ghoft. God 
had for wife reafons, fome of which we 
have attempted to explain, permitted thefe 

» Heb. ii. 4. 

P 4 dif- 

232 S E R M O N VII. 

diforders to moleft it: yet did he not to- 
tally abandon it, nor fufFer the faithful 
ftewards of his myfteries to be entirely 
unfuccefsful : many that had been feduced 
were reclaimed by their labour*, the wa- 
vering fettled, and the true believers con- 
firmed in the faith. It cannot therefore 
but be highly ufeful for us to enquire into 
the fteps taken by thefe unerring guides; 
that we may be able on fimilar occafions 
to follow the direiSions of thefe wife coun- 
fellors, the advice and the precepts which 
by the condadl and affiftance' of the holy 
fpirit are delivered down in their writings 
for our admonition, as rules and precedents 
for Ghriflians of all fucceeding genera- 

The Epiftle out of which my text is 
taken, was evidently written with a view 
of preferving the Jewifli converts from be- 
ing feduced by *■ falfe prophets and falfe 
teacherst who among other damnable hfcre- 
fies en^en dented the Lord that bought them. 
It abounds with warm exhortations and 

^ 2 ?et. ii. J. 



powerful arguments agalnft all dodtrines 
deftrudtive of the true faith j yet the ad- 
vice which Ijuft now read to you is uiher- 
ed in with a very peculiar encomium above 
them all, and in a particular manner re- 
commended by the Apollle to the atten- 
tion of his difciples. He had urged to 
them the truth of their belief from that 
glorious teftimony given to our Saviour at 
his transfiguration by God himfelf, ' when 
there came fuch a voice to him from the ex- 
cellent glory. This is my beloved Son in whom 
I am well pleafed: and this voice, fays St. 
Peter, which came from heaven we heard when 
we were with him in the mount. This was 
undoubtedly a ftrong and convincing proof; 
yet he adds, ' We have alfo a more fure 
word of prophecy, or (as the pafTage might 
perhaps be better rendered) But we hold, 
or efteem, the word of prophecy to be furer, 
whereunto ye do well that ye take b?ed. 

But what is meant by the word of pro- 
phecy, which is here fo much extolled ? for 

« iFet. i. 17, 18. *■ V. 19. 



• various have been the expofitions given of 
it, and confequently of the argument 
which the Apoftle is fuppofed to make ufe 
of. I fhall not trouble you with a rental 
of them J but without farther preface pro- 
•pofe and endeavour to eftablifli what I 
conceive to be the real meaning of the 
text, and then' add Tome few obfervations 
upon it. 

By the word of prophecy in St. Peter I 
underftand the Jpirit or gift of prophecy; 
as by th& ' word of wijdom and the word of 
knowledge in St. Paul are underftood the 
gifts of fupernatural wifdom and know- 
ledge; gifts which, I apprehend, differ 
no otherwife from that of prophecy than 
parts from the whole. That this gift was 
then plentifully vouchfafed to the church 
we are well affured from many paflages in 
the holy fcriptures : and the perfons fa- 
voured with it ftand high in the catalogue 
of church-governors given us by St. Pauh 
^- being ranked next to the apojlles and be- 

* See Biftiop Sherlock''s Difcourfes on PropheC)r. 

*■ 1 Cor. xii. 8. s i Cor. xii. 28. Ephe/.iv. II. 



fore the evangeJiJls themfelves. When he 
lays open to the Corinthians the ftorehoufc 
of God's graces, he fcruples not to prefer 
prophecy to all other fpiritual gifts ; and 
the reafon is, ^ becaufe he that prophejieth 
edifieth the church. Hence may be gather- 
ed the nature of the gift and the office of a 
prophet. The g^t was, as he explains it 
himfelf, * underjianding all myjieries and all 
knowledge i the office, to make ufe of this 
gift for the inftrudtion of the church. 
^ For, though there be no doubt but pro- 
phets were endowed with the gift of fore- 
knowledge, and did actually foretel future 
and contingent events, as a proof of their 
divine miffion j yet are they in general re- 
prefented to us as perfons infpired by im- 

' 1 Car. xiv. 4." ' i Cor. xiii. 2. 

* The word prophet, befides its grammatical import, 
vie. one waho foretells future events, fignifies likewife in the 
fcriptnre language a revealer of the •will of God. In this 
fenfe Ahrahcm is ftiled z prophet,'&adi fo is John the Baptift ; 
though we read of no prediSlims made by either of them. 
This fenfe the word plainly bears when it is laid Exod. vii. 
I. 1 have made thee a. God to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brs- 
ther Jhall he thy prophet ; i. e. the revealer of what thou the 
God oS Pharaoh fhalt fay to him ; nor doe^s it ever £gnify 
to expound or interpret feripture otherwife than by a di'vine 
afflatus or gift of prophecy, Whitby on Luke i. 57. 



mediate revelation with an extraordinary 
meafure of wifdom, for the underftanding 
and explaining of the evangelical and myf- 
tical fenfe of the law and the prophets, 
that the infant churches might be inftrudl- 
ed in the myfteries of the gofpel, and con- 
firmed into all truth. To this our Apoftle 
refers, when he fays that no prophecy of 
the fcripture is of private interpretation j i.e. 
the expofition which the prophet gives 
of fcripture is not his pWn private fenti- 
ment, it comes not from his own private 
fuggeftion, but from infpiration : " for 
prophecy came not Tron at any time, Sy the 
will of mant but holy men of God fpake as 
they ivere Moved by ^t he Holy Ghojl. To 
thefe unerring guides the Apoftle refers his 
converts, who were as yet but babes in 
Chrift^ and when he does fo, it is plain 
that it is to the fcriptures themfelves that 
be ultimately refers them j and thefe he 
recommends as likely to produce a clearer 
and ftronger perfuafion, as a firmer bul- 
wark againft apoftacy and errors, than 6ven 
his own atteftation of Chrift's glorious 

■» 2 Pet. i. 20, z I . 


SERMON Vir. 237 

transfiguration, when a voice from heaven 
declared him to be the Meffiah. ' 

Whether the evidence oi prophecy be 
abfolutely and in itfelf greater than the 
evidence of miracies, feems by no means 
to be (as fome have imagined) the fubjedl 
of the Apoftle's argument. In the parti- 
cular cafe before us he could not, I ima- 
gine, with prudence infift, er indeed lay 
any great ftrefs upon the fole authority of 
miracles. The very perfons againft whom 
he wrote, though they contradided his 
dodrine, pretended the influence of the 
fame fpirit, the fame commiffion from 
heaven. The myftery of iniquity, had 
already began to work ; " falfe pro- 
phets, according to our bjefled Saviour's 
prediction, had ariien, who were per- 

" Such was Simon Magui, who not only hfuiitched the Sa- 
maritans fo 'with his forceries that they all ga-ve heed to him, 
AQs viii. 9, 10. but in many places prevailed upon, the 
people to worfhip him. Such were thofe whom St. Paul 
compares to J amnes and Jambres the celebrated magicians 
of Ug}ft, 2 Tim. iii. 8. with many others mentioned not 
.only by ecclefiaftical writers, but alfo by Jo/efhus t\ie 
Jewjfli hiftorian. De Ml. Jud, 1. z. c. 23. 



mitted to perform ftrange and wonderful' 
things : " they came, fays St. Paul, after 
the working of Satan with all power, and 
figns, and lying wonders. When revelation 
was thus oppofed to revelation, and both 
claimed to have the fame charadter of truth 
ftaniped upon its dodtrines by miracles, 
fomething furely befides miracles muft be 
appealed to, to judge between them. 

Why then does the apoftle mention any 
fupernatural occurrence at all ? Why this 
of the transfiguration in particular, of 
which there were only three witneffes ? 

* There was a tradition in the earlieft 

• i Theff^ ii. 9. 

P Eufeb, hiji. ecclef. 1. 2. c. 1 . Though Eufebius mentions 
only thefe three Apoftles, yet Clemens of Alexandria (whom . 
the hiflorian quotes) adds St. Paul in \)itfirjl and in the 
Jixth book qf his Mi/cellanies. This great Apoftle had been 
called in an extraordinary manner to the minifterial office 
jby God himfelf, and received the doArines which he 
taught by immediate revelation from Jefus Chrifi. It is 
therefore , not to be wondered at that heretics fheltered 
themfelves under his authority, and pleaded private tradi- 
tion from him for doflrines unknown to Chriftians in ge- 
neral, as well as from the three pillars of the church, whom ■ 
our Saviour had chofen to be witnelfes of that fupernatural 
manifeftation of his glory when God declared him to be 
his only beloved Son. 



ages of Chriftianity, that our blefled Sa-; 
viour had qiore particularly inflrudled his 
three principal difciples, Peter, JameSf and 
John (thofe three who were prefent at the 
transfiguration) and taught them fecretly 
and feparately from the reft the myftical 
fenfe of the fcriptures ; that this fcience. 
was by them communicated to the other 
apoftles, from whbm the Seventy and fome 
few others received it j but that it was ne- 
ver committed to writing, thefe hidden 
myfteries being referved for the perfedl. 
What an opening was here made for he- 
refies and fchifms, whilft the minds of be- 
lievers were as yet unfettled and liable to 
be ' carried away by every wind of doBrine f 
The veneration in which oral tradition 
was held by the Pharifees, the Jewifli cab- 
bala and myfterious literature (which was 
then much in vogue) paved an eafy way > 
for the introduction of all thefe kinds of 
theology among the converts of that na- 
tion. The plain literal fenfe of fcripture, 
not at all times eafily accommodated to 
hypothefesj was foon abandoned; crude 

' Efhef. iv. 14. 



allegories and mythological fancies were 
fubftituted in the room of it, and falfe 
blafphemous dodrines grafted on the word 
of God, under pretext of the holy fpirit, 
by wicked impoftors of all denominations; 
' each of wh<^n claimed, as partaker of 
this tradition, the knowledge of myfte^ 
ries and an exclufive right of interpreting 
the holy oracles. Thus * Bqfilides in par- 
ticular, who introduced among his many, 
heretical opinions fome of the Egyptian 
A^Q^^Ta, into the Chriftian religion, boafted 
of having received his myftical fcicnce 
from Glaucias a difciple of St. Peter. Now 
if we fuppofe (and I cannot fee any ob- 
jection to the fuppofition j if we fuppofe, I 
fay) that this tradition took it? rife from 
thofe three difciples having received fo 
eminent a mark of Chriji'% favour, we 
cannot be at a lofs for a reafon, why our 
Apoille fliould, upon making mention of 
the transfiguration, appeal to another cri- 

' Moris erat gnofiicis (fays the learned Mojheim) qui divi- 
nes Chriftianonim libros ab opinionibus fuis difTentire non 
poterant di&l&n, arcanos Je/u Chrijii et amicorum ejus /ermonet 

* Clm, Alex. Strom. 1. 7. p. 898. Ed. Pott. 



terion for the truth of his dodrinc. 
' Satan and his emiflaries (whofe policy 
it always was to counterfeit the feal of the 
fpirit of God) had already feized, or the 
Apoftle forefaw that they would foon feize, 
hold of that refpedl and reverence with 
which men neceffarily receive whatever 
bears the charafter of divine authority; 
and ufhered into the world their impious 
and l^lafphemous dodlrines under the fpe- 
cious title of a fecret revelation vouchfafed' 
to fo diftinguifhed an Apoftle: To obviate 
the evil confequences of fuch a belief, he 

' That this method of quoting the Apoftles, for doc- 
trines contrary to thofe which they taught, was praftifed- 
even during their lifetime, may with fome probability be 
conjeAured from a paffage'in St. Paul's fecond.EpiftU, to the 
Thejfalonians, c. ii. Noi/j 'me hefeech you brethren-— that ye he 
not foon paken in mind or he troubled, neither by fpirit, nor by 
ixiordf.nor hy letter, Ai from us — and likewife from the 
conclufion. The falutation of Paul 'with mine o'wn hand, 
lahich is the token in e'very epiflle : the token undoubtedly ■ 
of its being ^«»a»«, in OY^o&aavkXa forged ones^ which had 
been obtruded upon them as his by fome of thefe impof- 
tors. We find that, foon after his death, his name was 
made ufe of to gain credit to one of the moft dangerous he- 
refies that ever infefted the church. Valentinus (from whom 
was derived one branch of the gnefics) was faid by his fol- 
lower j, if we may credit Clemens of Alexandria, to have re- 
ceived his occult fcience from Theodades, \yho had been a 
difciple of St. Pattl. 

Q^ now 

242 SERMON Vir. 

now introduces this fupernatural manifef- 
t^tion of Chriji's glory on purpofe, as it 
were, to depreciate his own autltority, and 
inform them of another foundation on 
which they might reft their faith with 
greater fecurityj even the invariable rule 
of truth, the head and fountain of all di- 
vine knowledge, the holy fcriptures. But 
as " cunningly devifed fables {<nini^w}min jm.w6«» 
allegorical and mythological dodrines)^ 
were extracted from them by the falfe in- 
terpretations of iht gnoftics and other pre- 
tenders to fuperiJor knowledge j he appeals 
to their genuine meaning, as expounded 
by thofe whom the unerring Spirit of God 
had endowed with extraordinary wifdom 
and knowledge, ^ for the perfeSHng of the 
faints, for the work of the miniftry, for the 
edifying of the body rf Chrijl\ till they<-all 
come in the unity of the: faith, and of the 
kno'mkdge of the Son of God, unto a perfeSi 
t^an, unto the meafure of thejiature of the 

• 2 Pet. i. 1-6. 

* Ephe/.\v. 12, 13. That fo be perfeQ in the icripture 
l^guage fignifies, to be inftrufted in the ChjSflaan fafth Dr. 
Whitby has, I thinic, clearly proved in his annotations oa 
this paflage and on i Cor. ii. 6, 


S E R M O N VII. 243 

fukiefs of Ckrifl. What follows my text 
in. 8t. Peter is deafly of the fame itripoirt 
with this paffagt of St. Paul; z.t\i„ as I 
apprehend, fully juftifies the interpretation 
which I have put upon it. . He exhorts his 
converts to take heed to the word of prophe- 
cy t ai a light that Jhineth in a aatk places 
until the day dan&Hed) dnd the' day-Jiar arofe 
in their hearts 'y that is — ^ until they were 
fufficiently inftru^ed in the will of God, 
and arrived to a more perfeS knowledge 
of all thd articles of the Chriftian faith. 
Till that period came, the gift ^prophecy 
conftantly reiided in the church ; but When 
the myfteries of the gofpel had beeti fully 
feveakd it was gradually withdrawn, and 
at laft totaUy ^iafed : the writings of the 
Me'W 'teftdm^nt, which contain a more per- 
fe^St light, being added to thofe of the Oldt 
the church flood no lofiger in need of ex- 
traordinary affiftance : but every Chriftian 
might pead and underftaftd the will of God 
clearly revealed in the holy fcriptures : in 
which the facred interpreters of the will of 
God, * though they be dead, yei /peak : the 

« Hd. xi. 4. 

0^2 law 


law and the prophets are- explained by the 
gofpel j MoJ'es and Elias are feen (not by 
three only, as in that glorious vifion refer- 
red to by St. Peter, but) by every true be- 
liever conferring with. Chriji. 

Though the advice given by the Apoftlc 
primarily relates to the perfons whom he 
more immediately addrelTes, and is adapted 
to their particular fituation j yet is the 
duty recommended of general and perpe- 
tual obligation, of equal ufe and moment 
to every Chriilian of every age j for the 
truth upon which it refts is this — that the 
fcriptures are the only rule of faith , the 
fole and infallible judge in all doubts and 
controverfies. To them St. Feter refers 
us as well as the believers of his time, and 
(if I am not much miftaken) in oppofition 
to both miracles and tradition which his 
fucceffors have prefumed to fet up againft 
them. But, thanks be to God, our faitlv 
* is built upon the foundation of the apojlles 
and the prophets, Jefus Chriji himfelf being 
the chief corner-Jlone. For where is the 

1 Ephef, ii. 20. 



certainty of divine faith if it depends on 
other than divine authority ? Truth is con»- 
ftant and permanent, and muft therefore 
have a fixed and immutable bafis. The 
fcnfes are treacherous, memory unfaithful, 
reafon fallible, philofophy uncertain ; but 
* the word of our God Jhall Jiand fqr ever. 
'^ Salvation, fays our ^zs'iGwXyisof the'Je'ws', 
doubtlefs becaufe * to them were committed 
the oracles of God, the fcriptures of the Old 
Teftament, which contained the prophe- 
cies and promifes of the MeJJiah. If fuch 
was the privilege attending the records of 
the old covenant, how great muft be the 
excellency of thofe which furnifh us with 
a clear revelation of the new covenant, 
which is a full and final perfedtion of the 
old ? " If tliat which is done away was glo-^ 
rious, much more that which remaineth is 

Without entering into the difpute, how 
far ^ miracles of themfelves, and unattend» 

^ If.lx, « John 4, 22. 

^ 'Rom. iii. z. " ■= z Cor, iii. 11, 

^ See a difcourfe in the popifli controverfy tonttming the 

uftimony efmiraclft prefixed to a tranflation of tht School of 

thf Eucharifi, 

0^3 cd 

246 S E R, M O N VII. 

ed with any other circumftance, are tp be 
a,.dmitted as proofs of the authority of atiy 
revelation, I fcruple not to apply what St. 
Paul affirms of the gift of tongues to every 
other outward miraculous work — viz. 
' that they are a Jign not to them thnt be- 
lieve, but to them that beiieve not. Mi- 
rades, ar^ undoubtedly a moft powerful 
teftimony : while other arguments work 
their way by flow degrees, they make an 
immediate impreffion, ami overwhelm, as 
it were, the mincl with their evidence.; 
They are therefore principally calculated 

* 1 Cor. xiv^. 22, See St. Qhrjjppm fern. V. Horn. 88.^ 
the title of Avhi'ch is iix t) mnjuSit »oii » yiti-nxf, tJuMy miracki 
axe, not mirought »b".v< '^heje Mi^s, feys Pope "Gr'A^iii}, the 
firft, nuere necejfary in the beginning of the church ; fur in order 
that the number ofbelie'Uers might eiicreafe, faith needed to be 
nourijbedl^-mircucles^i in the fame manner do lue dial 'with 
young trees j lAie mjater- them till they have thoroi^ly taken 
root, and theh the luatering ceafes. Greg, iil 'Ehjaitg. ISbmS'. jg. 
And yet this very pope was one of the greateft retailers of 
falfe and ridiculous miracles that ever di%raced Chriftiani- 
ty. Very remarkable likewife is the following paflage 
frflgi t-Re fejapus Jefnit ^«_/&i.' Miracles are gi'vea.te ufibe- 
lievers, and thefcriptures to thofe that ielie've ; ther.eforti the 
fr'inti'tiiie church vbbtended-'itt miracles, hecaufe unbelievers nuere 
'to be called. But the church of latter times 'will truft more to 
fcripiure than to miracles, beeemfe, belie'vers are alrea^ called. 
Nay, I lAiillfay boldly, ihat all miracles are 'vain and ufehfs if 
they are not approhied by fcripture y, \, t. if they ha've not a doc- 
trine conformable tofcripture, Accofl, de temp, naviff-h 2. C. 19. 
St!e likewife ikefecond Nicene Council, Aa. 4. 



for producing great and fudden revolutions 
an4 introducing new difpenfations : they 
are neceffary credentials to warrant the 
prophet's miffion ; becaufe they command 
irrefiftibly our attention to the doctrines 
which he preaches, the faith which he 
propofes, When that end is attained, the 
law promulged, and the authority of the 
lawgiver eftajbliflied, the neceffity nay the 
i^e of miracles ceafes ; and other means 
more fuifable to our nature fuppiy their 
place. A free ufe of our intelleditual 
powers, and a fober diligent enquiry intoi 
the naturCj extent, atid meaning of the 
laws will procure a full (atisfaftion of all 
doubts, and an entire perfuafiori of the 
truth of any particular dodtrine. For God 
having been pleafed to make Us rational 
creatures requires of us rational obedience j 
and therefore does not in the ordinary 
courfe of things fuperfede the exercife of- 
thofe glorious faculties which, as they ren- 
der us juXtly anfwerable for the fin of infi-- 
delity againft fatisfad:ory evidence, fo like- 
wife do they ftamp a value upon, give a 
comelinefs and beauty to even our faith. 
Our Saviour himfelf does not reft the di- 
0^4 vine 


A'ine demonftration of the gofpel entirely 
upon miracles, but often appeals to the 
fcriptures as ^ tejiifying of him and having 
the words of eternal life. The apoftles fol- 
lowed their Lord's example, and reafoned 
to the Jews out of the fcriptures, confirm- 
ing their doftrines from the books of the 
Old Teftament. * And it is recorded of 
their immediate fucceffors, men likewife 
endowed with the power of working mi- 
racles, that they were particularly careful, 
after they had laid the foundation of the 
faith, to deliver to their converts the holy 
gofpel in writing. To thefe facred records 
the ancient fathers of the church conftant- 
ly appeal in all their doubts and difputes 
with heretics. * Let them, fays St. Aufin 
fpeaking of the Donatijl's, prove their church, 

' John V. 39. ! " 

? Eufeb. Hift. pec. 3. 37. Theappftle? {tiys Tieoihy- 
laff) wrote Xht go/pels 'ii» Ik rearav SihiTnifMiti rni aMsatit 
l*i Trnge^mfZiMf UTTO tS •^ivnus rut atgfatat, &C. that we 
learning the truth ^ew them might not be perverte4 t/ th* 
falftiood of herefy, '&c. Theoph. Proem, in Matth. The 
apoftles, fays Iremeus, firft preached the' gofpel, et poftea 
per dei voluntatem in fcripturis nobis tradiderunt funda- 
mentum et colurnnam fidei noftrs futurum, afterwards de- 
livered to us in the fcriptures what was to be the ground 
and pillar of our faith. Ireu, 1. 3. c. i. 
^ AMguft, demit, c. 18. 



not by deceitful Jigns and wonders, hut out of 
the law and the prophets, out of the word of 
Chriji himfelf, out of the works of the evan- 
gelijis, out of the hooks offcrtpture whofe au- 
thority is canonical. Either, fays he after- 
wards with refpedl to the miracles pretend- 
ed to have been wrought by fome of them ; 
either there is no truth in what is reported, 
or if they have really performed any thing 
miraculous, the more ought we to be upon our 
guard; becaufe our Saviour {after having 
told us that deceivers Jhall arife who with 
fgns and wonders Jhall, if it were pojible, 
deceive the very eleSf) adds, recommending it 
with vehemence, " Behold I told you be- 
•* fore." Thefe paflages from one under 
whofe authority the patrons of miracles fo 
often endeavour to fhelter themfelves 
might, one would imagine, check their 
petulance when they infolently call upon 
us to produce miracles in proof of our 
doftrines, and their arrogance when they 
prefumptuoufly claim an exclufive right to 
the title and benefits of a church on ac- 
count of ' the glory, as they term it, g/' their 

* This IS the eleventh out of fifteen notes by which the 
famous Cardinal Bellarmin pretends to find out the true 



pretended miracles. The holy fcriptures 
are a fair copy of God's will declared by 
Chriji and his apoftles, God himfelf con- 
firming their declaration '' by divine miracles 
and gifts of the Holy Ghoji : and the au- 
thenticity of this copy is proved beyond 
all doubt by the uniform concurrent tefti-r 
mony of all intermediate ages. Whoever 
therefore have again recourfe to the evi- 
dence of miracles for the credibility of any 
of the dodrines of Ci^riftianity, require an 
additional feal to vi^hat God has already 
ratified; they depreciate his tellimony, 
and render all his| promifes of none efFe£t. 
This the Romantjis muft allow to be their 
cafe, , ,or contend that their dodlrines are 
new, or miflSon extraordinary, If their 
mijion is extraordinary, it is not derive^, 
from the apoftles with Vi^hooa Chriji pro- 
mifed to be ■ always, even unto the end oj 
the world: and if their doSlrines are new, 
xwe only fay with St. PW, "" If any man or 
angel preacif muthfr ^ofpel, than that which 

c^tboHc and infallible church; ill of which he ^akes eve 
to appt-opriate to the charch of Rome orffy. 

^ Heb. ii. 4. i M^itt. xxviii. 20. 

" Gal. i. 8. 



Chrlft and his apoftles preached, let him be 

But if mkaeles fail, the Romanijis have 
another refource j there are, if you believe 
them, unwritteA " traditions preferved in 
the church : into thefe all faith is refblved, 
and every Chriftian is enjoined to hold 
them (whenever the church pleafes to pro- 
duce them) in equal efteem and veneration 
with the fcriptures themfelves. 

We have already obferved on the autho- 
rity of the primitive writers, that the true 
faith was firft corrupted by perfons, who 
jwetended to a more perfect knowledge of 
t|i« doftrines of Chdftianity tranfmitted by 
oral tradition £tQ€Ci Chrijl zxiA. his apoftles.^ 

-" This verity and difcipUne i« contained in the written 
-word and in, the uniuritteti traditions of the fathers — reve- 
rencmg all the books as well of the Old as New Tefta- 
meitt, of both which God is the immediate author ; as alfo'> 
the traditions themftlves, belonging both to faith and man- 
ners, diflated as it were from the month of Chrifi, or of 
the holy fpirit, and pr.efer'vid in- the catholic church in a con- 
tinual fucceffion. If any one reading over thefe books—. 

in the old vulgar Xa/z». edition, does not hold them, for j^- 
fr«</and canonical; and knowing the hefore-fpecified traditions 
does induflrioufly contemn them, let him be anathema or 
accurfed. Counc. ofl^ent, Sejpan 4-. 


252 SERMON Vir. 

Now if tradition perverted the truth fo 
near the times in which the apoftles lived, 
nay perhaps whilft fome of them were ftill 
living ; how can we 'expe£t that it fhould 
at this diftance fecure us from error ? Let 
us only look back to the earlieft ages of the 
world, when the want of writing made 
the ufe of tradition neceflary, and the long 
lives of men rendered it lefs liable to ac- 
cidents. What will hiftory inform us but 
that error is almoft coeval with truth? Reli- 
gion committed to the care of fo untrufty a 
guardian foon degenerated into fuperftition 
and idolatry ; the law of nature was fcarce 
written on the heart of man, but the cha- 
rafters became illegible. God therefore, 
when he. chofe to himfelf a peculiar people, 
engraved with his own finger the laws 
which he gave them upon two tables, and 
commanded them to. be kept with religi- 
ous care, that the people might have re- 
courfe to thern upon all occafions. ° 'To 
the law and to the teftimony, faith. God him- 
felf through the mouth of his prophet 
tfaiah, when the people were in danger of 

° Ifaiah-f'm. lO, 


SERMON VII. 253 . 

being feduced Into Idolatry. And In the 
time of general corruption what did the 
good Jofidh do ? ^ He read in the ears of 
the people the luords of the book of the cove' 
nant, and he made a covenant before the 
Lord to perform the words of the covenant 
that were written in this book. 

We knew indeed that traditionary rites 
and cufloms obtained much at lafl in the 
Jewifti church : but does not our Saviour 
fay, ^ in vain do they worjhip me, teaching 
for doSirines the commandments of men : for 
laying afide the commandment of God ye hold 
the tradition of men ? It is the appointment 
of God which conftitutes a rule of faith: 
and can it enter into the heart of man to 
conceive that our Saviour would appoint 
that in his church, which he condemns in 
the Jewijh f As the gofpel was not to be 
confined within the narrow bounds of Ju~ 
dea but propagated all over the earth. It 
was in greater danger of being corrupted 
by oral tradition, and confequently ftood 
in greater need of being fecur'ed by writ- 

' 3, Kings u, 3. y Mark vii..y,S. 



ing, and committed to the keeping of 
every Chriftian, as a ftanding and public 
record of the will of God and his own 
duty. And who that has fuch a record 
well authenticated would truft to ' vague 
and uncertain report ? For why fhould the 
evangelifts or apqftles omit any efTential 
dodtrine, any article necelTary for the be- 
lief of a Chriftian ? It could not be out of 
ignorance, even putting blafphemy out of 
the queftion j becaufe the traditions, which 
are fuppofed to contain thcfe dodlrineS and 
thefe articles, are likewife fuppofed tapro»*, 
ceed originally from them. To charge 
them with doing it kn(nmngJy is to charge 
them with partiality, with malice, with 
fecrilege j with the fame facrilege that the 
church of Rome is guihy of, when by de- 
priving her members of the ufe of the fcrip- 
tures fhe ' takes away the key of knowledge, 
and * Jhuts up the kingdom ef heaven againfi 
men. It is moreover giving xk'sva. the lie. 

'' tk 'jS etygy,^! hvyiftnit wcaii-mi rfUr i>ayi0 ttii 't^ifmCi 
uiro^et%n ; For tbofe things 'vjhich are Jpoken luithout being com- 
mitted to 'Writing are of Jhvri duration^ itcaafi fhty havt ns 
certainly, Origen,_ Dial. cont. Marc. 

' Lide )i. 52, t Matt, xxiii. 13. 


S E R M O ]SJ VII. i^s 

fince they every where profefs that they 
make known to us f^e 'whok goffel of Chrijl , 
the whole counfel of God. 

But fuppoflng there were any fuch apof- 
toUcal traditions as are pretended j they are . 
acknowledged to have been delivered fe- 
cretly and privately, and defigned for the 
inftrudion of a chofen few: if fo, then 
they were not intended for public ufe, and ^ 
of confequence not neceffary to be public- 
ly known j if they were not neceffary to 
be publicly known, they could not be ef- 
fential to faith, and therefore cannot be 
iimpofed »p&n us as fundamental articles of 
our religion. 

St. Fd!«/^ tells us that " the h'olyfcripiures 
are able to mc^e us wife unto fahation: St. 
yarned that * God begat us wit h the woriof 
truth : St. Peter that * we were born again 
mt of corruptible feed but of incorruptible 
by the word of God which liveth and abid- 
ethfor ever. Yet we have been told that 

» 2 I'm. I'ii. 15. »? Jam. i. 18. 

* I Ptt.i. 23. 



it is *' ^ a dead letter, capable of different' 
** meanings, according to the difference of 
*' time, accommodating itfelf to the hu- 
« mours and maxims of the church •" that 
*' ' to receive it as the only rule of faith is 
" the foundation of atheifmand impiety j" 
that «* it is the church which gives it all 
*' its authority and weight," and that 
" without the church it would not merit 
" more credit than the Fables of ^fop or 
" the Alcoran of Mahomet." 

While we wonder at the abfurdity and 
abhor the profanenefs of tenets, like thefe, 
we cannot without ingratitude omit our 
thanks to the Almighty for the benefits 
we enjoy in the communion of a church, 
which not only refls its belief on the doc- 
trines contained in the holy fcriptures^ 
but likewife allows every member of it 

y Cufan. ad Boh. Ep. 2. * Bellarm. de verb. Dei. iv. 4. 

Who can read thefe and other like paffages without call- 
ing to mind the account which Iretieeus gives us of the he- 
retics of his time ? Cum ex fcripturis arguuntur in accufa<-^ 
tionem convertuntur ipfarum fcripturarum, quafi non refle 
habeant, neque funt ex a^uthoritate, et quia varie funt di£lx, 
et quia non polTet ex his inveniri Veritas ab his qui nefciant 
traditioniem : non enim per literas traditam illam^ fed per 
vivam vocem. Iren. 1. 3. c. 2. 



free aqcefs to the laws of his Saviour, 
whbfe • words are j^iriv and life. To lay a 
reftraint upon the ufe of them is in it- 
felf fo abfurd and irrational, fo manifeftly 
contradictory to God's great purpofe of re- 
vealing his will \a all men ; that it is juft- 
ly matter of the higheft admiration, as 
well as indignation, that any Chriftian 
church could be guilty of and juftify fuch 
an enormity, under pretence of preventing 
mifchiefs which muft arife from the read- 
ing of them. 

That fome parts of fcripture; are ob- 
icure and difficult to be underftood we deny* 
not J and that " the unlearned and unjlable 
wreji them to their, own deflruBion we like- 
wife acknowledge. It is what St. Peter 
himfclf complained of, and yet he did not 
fprbid the. ufe of them : he knew that they 
were hafy, juji, and good \ and therefore 
if •' men (whofe curioiity is above their 
" faith, whofe affedtatipn of fingularity 
•* above the care of thfeir fouls) will fearch 
** the' fcriptures to find out new doftrines, 

* Jeiay'i, 63. ^ z Pet. in, 16. 

R " and 


** and if they cannot find them will bring 
** them thither j" the fault lies not in the 
fcriptures, but in their own raflinefs and 
prefumption : they are, fays St. Paul, 
"proud, knowing nothing, but doting about 
quejlionf and dijputes about words, whereof 
comet b envy, Jirife, euil furmijings, perverfe 
difputings of men cf corrupt mindi, and def- 
titute of the truth. But to argue from 
abiife to non-ufe is not logical. The pef- 
verfion of fcripture cannot with proprietj^' 
be charged upon fcripture itfelf j efpecialJy 
when it proceeds, as it generally does, 
from ignorance, pride, prejudice, or inte- 
reft. For let a paflage be never fo exprefs, 
and the fenfe common and obvious ; yet;^ 
if the dodrine contained in it militates 
againft the prepoffeffions of a zealot, fome 
other meaning muft at all events be con- 
trived, and the words (though written 
with ink made of light) tortured till they 
are at laft obliged to comply with the prin- 
f iples of the interpreter. 

" I Tim. vi. 4, 5. ; ' 


S E R M ON VIL 259 

To prevent or cure thefe diforders, our 
adverfaries pretend that there is in their 
chur{;h zn infalh'l>le JuJge appointed by God 
himfelf. The apoftles were, if any men 
can be, infallible Judges j yet there, were 
in their time (as their own writings fully 
prove) as many contrpverfies and differen- 
ces about matters of faith, as many and as, 
great herelies and fchifms, as have been 
fince in any age of the church. Infallibi" 
/% therefore is no certain remedy againfl 
th,em : but fuppofe it were, where are we 
now to find it? for, though the Romanics 
bpad: much o£ having this infallibility, 
among them j yet where it is lodged, whe- 
ther in the fope alone, or in a, general 
council alone i or in the pope and council con* 
curring, or laftly in the church diffufive,' 
are points in which they are npt yet agreed ; 
and truly (as has often l?een obferved) no 
great flrefs can be laid upon the infallibi- 
lity of that church, that does not itfelf 
know where its infallibility refides. 

The dodrines of Chriflianlty are of two 

kinds, the moral and the myjiical, Thefe 

R 2 laft 

26o SERMON Vn. 

laft may likewife be divided into two claf- 
fes. The firji clafs confifts of what St. 
Taul calls ^ the principle's of the doSiri'ne of 
Chriji, the rudiments and groundwork of 
faith, the fundamentals of our rehgion, 
the articles contained in the Creed. The 
fecond clafs is made up of truths important 
indeed but not fo obvious ; fuch as the 
wonderful difpenfations of God towards 
the amazing work of our redemption, his 
eternal purpofe even before the world be- 
gan, his gradual revelations to the patri- 
archs, the types, prophecitfs^ and various 
prefigurations of the Mejjiah in the legal 
worftiip, the calling in of the Gentiles 
Upon the rejeftibn of the Jews, and the 
fiiture glorious ftate of the church when, 
dpon God's calling again his chofeii people, 
''the Gentiles fimU come to thdir li^h^, and 
ki^gs to the itightneji of their rifmg — Thefe, 
I fay, androthers of the like fu-blime arid 
abilrufe natufe, fofm the fecoAd order of 
»^/Wdtodtrines. Now rightly to appre- 

'H^^.vi. I. «^. Ix. 3. 



hend and reap jbe^eftt frpm thefe requiring 
more ftudy, ^ greater ufe and iijiprovement 
of reafun, a fo,under judgement,, and a 
more ealAr^ed underilanding tha,n God h&^ 
thought proper to endow every njan with s 
jljiey are therefore {thougji highly orna- 
mental of the Chri4Uan chara(^e;r) not of 
abfolute, indi^ckniable, univerfal nece£lity. 
But the moral and the firfl,claf$ of the »^ 
ti'c^/ doftrine^, beiiiig abfolutely noc^fljiEy 
to the ivery bei^ of a Chriftian, are there;^ 
fore dd(ive;red without obfcurity or ambji^- 
guity, are plain and eyidenft to all, even 
perfons of the m^aijeft capacity. *• 72u?0f 
** Jog^ is the profeffion qf a few;, religion 
" the duty of all." 

What (hall we fay t;l;i^n of thQie,ful>lime 
objeiStjS pf the catholic .faith, thofe diyine 
myfteries which, are cpn,fe£redly abo;ife the 
reach of all human underftanding,? I^ pqt 
^he belief of them qf ^hfplute ^d ^ndif- 
peni^b^ neceflity ? Undoubtedjly it ijs ; i^d 
thcrefqre are ^hey, like gll the .Qthec jdoc- 
trines contained in the firfl clafs, exprefsly 
and pofitively rey«al^ j andXthbugh their 
R 3 nature 


nature and relations are utterly inconceiv- 
able by human reafoh, yet) to the truth 
of them, becaufe they are confirmed by 
the teftimony of God, human reafon itfelf 
cannot but give a firm, full, and immedi- 
ate aflent. For " truth being a confor- 
" mity to the nature and reafon of things, 
" the word of him who fpake all things 
** into being cannot but be infallible 
** trpthl'' But is the book of nature full 
bf myfteries, and fliall we wonder at a few 
in the book of grace f ' 'Thine own things, 
fays the angel to Efdras, and fuch as are 
grown up with thee canji thou not know ; 
how -Jhould thy veffel then be able to com- 
prehend the way of the kigheji f If fenfible 
things are above our reach, {hall we re- 
pine becaufe we cannot grafp thofe that 
are invifible ? Let us rather blefs God for 
what he has been pleafed to reveal clearly, 
and what reafon cannot fathom let faith 
contemplate. "For though it be utterly 
impoffible that any revelation from God 
can be contradidtory to rekfon, for then 

f 2 Efd. iv. 10, II. 



truth would be at variance with truth j 
yet it is very poffible that there may be 
truths in that revelation, to the clear per- 
ception and full comprehenfion of which 
our faculties are not proportioned j ^ that 
our faith may not Jiand in the wifdont of 
man, but the paiver of God. And how- 
ever the pride of n^ian nnay recoil at the 
thought of a truth inconceivable by him, 
yet fober reafon will readily acknowledge 
and adore the wifdom and the goodnefs 
of God in propofing myfteries for the 
trial of our faith, as well as precepts fpr 
the exercife of our obedience. They 
command our attention and veneration $ 
they teach us to fet a due value on the 
means of grace, to have a juft fenfe of 
our imperfections and the all-fufHciency 
of God. Humility and piety are twin- 
fifters, offspring of that ^ wifdom which 
if from above. The man that cheriihes 
thefe Chriftian graces cannot .but be 
highly favoured by the divine principle 
which produced them ; heavenly truths 

f I Cw. ii. 5. ■• Jametya, 17. 

R 4 meet- 

264 5 E R.M O.N VII. 

meeting with no oMrudbion in their paf- 
fage to his inind ftrike with full foax^ 
and make a deep and lafting impreffion. 
Such a mm as thisj a man (who with a 
betoriiing awe and reverence enquires in- 
to that good, perfed, and acceptable will 
of God ) , finds . new truths cofliinually 
emerging, and beaming out their light 
U^n hlSiUhderflyattding : while he con- 
verts in the book df God, he conveilfes 
with and is^rlaker of all the privileges and 
revelations ©f the Prophets, Evangelifts, 
and Apoftles ; he convfirfes with God 
Ijimfelf : God, by the toiniftry of his 
wordi ;^al5;s to iiim from heaven j he 
^feaks to his heart and foul fuch cona- 
fort and invincible demonftration, as all 
the pride of kapiiing and philofophy can 
never; attain to. 

. Thus, does the true Chriftian^ begin 
hcte mpoa: earth an intercourfe and com- 
munion with God^ and enjoys through the 
gcifpel a for^tafte of. thait marvellous light, 
which will be the portion of the faints in 
blifs J whs^n grace being perfeded in glo- 


ry, we fhall view more nearly the ' myjiery 
hid from ages, the ftupendous work of our 
redemption, the wonders of God's nature, 
the riches of his goodnefs, and the trea- 
fures of his mercy. .'' Now ivefee through 
a glqfs darkly, but then face to face : now 
we know in part, but then we Jloall know 
even as we are known. 

• CqI. i. 36. ^ I Cor. xiii. \z. 

t 267 ] 


Phil. iv. 8. 

Finally, brethren, whatfoever things are 
true, whatfoever things are honejl, what- 
foever things are jufi, whatfoever things 
are pure, whatfoe'uef things dre lovely, 
whatfoever things are of good report ; if 
there be any virtue, and tf there be any 
praife, think on thefe things. 

IT is obferved of St. Paul that, however 
obfcure and irregular his argumenta- 
tion may fometimes appear to thofe who 
want either abilities or attention to trace 
the connexion of the feveral parts of which 
it is compofed, yet his general method in 
9W his epiftles is plainly regular and eafily 



perceptible to every underftanding. Hav- 
ing given a folemn teftimony of his affec- 
tion by recommending the churches to the 
peace of God, he begins his difcourfes with 
doSirinal and ends them vs^ith moral pre- 
cejbte i having firft grounded and fettled 
his flock in the true faith, he then pro- 
ceeds to recommend a practice fuitable to 
that faith. 

It has been jny aim ^nd fincere endea- 
vour to follow the example of this bleffed 
Apoftie : andj hiaving accordingly in my 
farmer difcourfes treated of the chief fun- 
damental points contained in the fpecula- 
tive part laf our holy religion, I 'nQw pur- 
pofe, by God's ^flift^nce, to recommend 
a condud: correfponding to our profeflion i 
to prove that not only the h^xtioiwhatfo- 
ever things are true, but likewife the prac- 
tice of mhatfoenjer things are hon6ji;,Ji^j anti 
pure, is irequired of.;fts as neceiTary to faiva- 
tion- ' 

The .(aeaff/fe^lfta/- yirtutss indeed iia point 
of drder take plats of the ;W(?»:^/ opes, be- 
caufe a rational agent afts in confequencie, 


3.E R M O N. VIII. 2^ 

of knowledge : for how, without the 
knowledge of our duty^ can there be an 
eftabliflied rule of our obedience ? But 
though knowledge is thus effential to prac- 
tice, yet is not pra<51:ice the lefs neceffary 
to knowledge. * Who is a wife man, and 
endued with knewledge among ft you ? let him 
Ji^'W' out of a good converjatiou his works 
with mee'knefs ofwifdom. 

One of the many devices, made ufe of 
by the enemy of mankind, is to keep men 
in extremes of opinion with regard to mat- 
ters of faith and doi^rine : he *" tr&nrforms 
himfelf into an angel of light j and, under 
the fpecious pretence of faving them from 
a dangerous error, hurries them away to 
the opposite precipice ; pafiing over the 
intermediate fpaee, where the faving and 
profitable truth is ufually to be found at an 
equal diftance from both extremes. Thus 
with refpe<St to the doiftrilies now under 
confideration — A pernicious error was by 
his artifices intrpdueed in the infancy of 
the church, by which men were taught to 

» yamerui. 13. * z Cer.xi, 14. 



believe that njoorh alone without faith were 
fufficient to juftification and falvation : but,, 
this herefy being confuted by apoftolical 
arguments and authority, he very dexte- 
roufly changed the queftion, and inftilled 
into weak minds the more flattering poifon 
of the oppofite dodrine, perfuading them 
that they might be juftified by faith alone 
without works : whereas the fcriptures join 
them both together, exprefsly teaching us 
that nothing availeth to falvation ' except 
faith which worketh by love ; i. e. a vigorous- 
and operative faith produdtive of good 
works, a fincere obedience proceeding from 
a true and vital faith. 

And. firft, that worlis tflone are not fuffi- 
cient to procure God's favour, he himfelf 
has clearly taught us in that comprehen- 
five epitome of his laws, which he wrote 
with his own finger, and delivered by the< 
miniftry of his fervant Mofes to his chofen 
people. The commands of thtfrjl table 
immediately and folely refpeft his autho« 
riiy, and the obedience and worftiip which 

■= Pal. V. 6. 


SERMON Vni. 271 

is due to him : from whence this inference 
naturally follows, that our faith in him 
and obedience to his authority are the 
foundation of the moral commandments 
contained in the Jecond table. This confi- 
deration greatly exalts and ennobles mora- 
lity, interefting the Supreme Being in all 
our adis of virtue j which if they proceed 
from any other principle, inafmuch as they 
refpeft not God, are at leaft a virtual dif- 
avowal of his authority. In all our ac- 
tions as well as opinions are to be confi-; 
dered what the fchoolmen call the maU- 
riale and the formate j not only the a<9: it- 
felf, but the fundamental ground on which 
it refts, and on account of which it is per- 
formed. For it is not the fuperftrufture 
that fupports the foundation, but the foun- 
dation that gives {lability to the fuperflruc- 
ture : let the edifice be ever fo fplendid or 
ftrong in itfelf, yet (if the foundation be' 
unfound) the whole building mud partake 
of the weaknefs upon which it relies. 
* There are niany truths believed, the 

i See this point argued with his ufual acutenefs atid pre.->' 
dfion by Dr. Cradtintherp m his Figilius dermitani, c. 13. 



fcriptures themfelves are received in the 
church of Rome-, yet I am afraid that 
this belief and acknowledgement have very 
little of the nature of a true Chriftiaa 
faith J beeaufe, however true and com- 
mendable they are in themfelves, they pro- 
ceed from an antifcriptural principle : they 
depend upon the infallible- authority of the 
pope enjoining them, a dodtritie which is 
contrary to and fubvcrfive of faith. The 
cafe is the fame with our outward adions : 
they may be good in themfetves* but not 
in the agent j in them the will of God may 
ht performed, hnt not obeyed : for there is 
a wide difference and eafily perceivable be-» 
tween an adl itfelf and the obedience ob- 
lerved in that adt. Every moral virtue 
confidered abftradledly is without all doubt 
in the matter of it agreeable to the will of 
God j but it does not follow that the will 
of God is obeyed in the performance of 
every moral aftion. It may and too often- 
does proceed from merely human princif 
pies, from cufl:om» example, convenience, 
interefl : and, as water will not rife higher 
than the level of the fpring from which 
it flows, fo neither can an adt be better 



than the motive from which it took its 
rife. Should we therefore allow it even 
the higheft principle which a mere moral 
philofopher can claim, the idea of the in- 
trinfic ■ beauty and lovelinefs of virtue -, yet 
even then, inafmuch as it wants the con- 
currence of that which God requires, and 
which reafon itfelf properly exercifed muft 
teach us to be the principal duty in nature, 
i.e. refpeB to his laws and fubmiffion to his 
authority — wanting that principle it cannot 
recommend man to God's favour. It has 
indeed fo far the nature of fin, that it is 
fetting up the underftanding of man againft 
the knowledge of God : it is a renuncia- 
tion of our allegiance to him, a conterhpt 
of thofe attributes of power, wifdom, 
^odnefs, and holinefs, upon which his 
laws and our obedience to them are found- 
ed. ' 'Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive 
^ory, and honour, and power-, iov thou haft 
created all things, and for thy pleafure, i.e. 
by thy will alone and divine command, 

* Jlev. IV. II. Uppn this principle it is that the Roman 
phihfepher calls Piety Jujiice Wwards God. Eft enim pietas 
juftitia adverfum deos. Ck. de Nat. Deor. I. i. 

S and 


and for the manifeftation of thy glory, they 
are, and were created. How can God. re- 
ceive gloryv and honour from his creatures, 
but by their folemn acknowledgement of 
his fupreme dominion and authority over 
them, and their entire dependence upon 
him ? And how can they fhew that ac- 
knowledgement but by conftantly looking 
up to him with a filial fear and reverence, 
and by diredling their adions out of con- 
fcience of their duty tp him, making his 
will their motive, his laws their rule, and 
his glory their end. ^ If I be a father, 
where is mine honour ? ^ If you call him fa- 
ther, who without reJpeSl of perfons judgetb 
according to every mans work, pafs the time 
of your fojourning here in fear, i. e. a reve- 
rential and godly fear, fuch as becometh 
obedient children. 

Self-gratification and felf-fufficienCy were 
the caufe of the firfl fin, and have ever fince 
been the chief ingredients in all fubfequent 

•■ Mai. i. vi, E \ Pet. i. 17. If you call him 

father luhojuJgeth — This certainly is the meamng of « 
TOili^ \mKc^\H&i Tov xg^tona, not, as our Verfion reads. If 
j/eu call ujion the father luho judgeth. 



tranfgreflions : nay, they have fcarce ever 
failed to infinuate themfelves in and pollute 
our beft actions. This fatal prevalency of 
thofe tv^'o principles was the caufe, why the 
^Stoics and Epicureans flood foremoft in 
the lift of thofe who oppofed St. Paul 
preaching the gofpel 2X Athens : he preach- 
ed ' C/jri^ crucified to the Greeks fooUJhnefs -, 
becaufe his dodtrine deftroyed that fenfual 
felf which was the meafure of the one, and 
difowned that moral felf which was the 
foundation of the other philofophy. If 
our aftions have refpedl only to ourfelves, 
how can we expedt that God will regard 
us, while we are thus regardlefs of him j 
that he will honour us while we feek ho- 
nour from ourfelves, and not ^ the honour 
•which Cometh from Gifd only f 

How far indeed God will accept or rejedt 
the moral virtue of thofe, who had not fo 
exadt a knowledge of him and of his will 
as we have been bleffed with, would be 
prefumptuous in us to attempt to deter- 

^ jias xv'ii: 18. * I Cor. i. 23. 

" John V. 44. 

S 2 mine 


mine. Thus much we may venture to 
alTert, becaufe it is exprefsly declared, that 
* God is rich to all that call upon him ; that 
""he is the God not of the Jews only, but alfo 
of the Gentiles ; that " he is no refpeSier of 
perfons, but in every nation he thdt feareth 
him and worketh righteoufnefs is accepted 
licith him ; that ° when the Gentiles, who 
have not the law, do by nature the things 
c&ntained^ in the law ; they having not the 
law are a law unto themfelves. Yet even 
here faith is by no means excluded j to 
works of righteoufnefs is added the fear of 
God ; and the obfervance of that natural 
law is required by which man, being ca- 
pable of knowing God, was bound to 
honour him as God. However he may be 
pleafed to deal with the gentile world, his 
declarations with regard to us are explicit. 
^ Without faith it' is impofjible to pleafe God. 
As ' the altar fanSiifies tJie gift, fo does faith 
confecrate our adtions rendering them '^?- 
rkual facrifices acceptable to God by fifus 

• Rom. X. 1 2. ■" Rom. iii. 29. 

" Aas-x.. 34, 35. • Rom. ii. 14. 

«► Heb. xi. 6. 1 Exod, xxix, 37. 
^ 1 Pit. ii. 5. 


SERMON Vm. 277 

Chriji. ' By faith the elders, all righteous 
men from the foundation of the world, 
obtained a good report. It was faith which 
recommended the facrifice of Abel to God ; 
while Cain's offering and duty, which did 
not proceed from the fame inward prin- 
ciple, were both rejedted. For ' unto the 
pure all things are pure ; but to them •which 
are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure ; 
but even their mind and confcience is defied. 
All their adtions (however good in appear- 
ance, whatever external conformity they 
may have to the letter of the law) are pol- 
luted, by the infidelity of their hearts : for 
where the fountain is poifoned, all the 
ftreams iffuing from it partake of the in- 
fe6tjon. " By the Mofaical law, as a de-^ 
gree. of holinefs was conveyed to every 
thing that touched what was dedicated to 
God's fervice, fo likewife legal impurity 
was contrafled by the touch of any thing 
unclean : and this law of impurity is thus 
beautifully applied by the prophet Haggai 
' — " If one touch any of thefe, things holy, 

• Heb. xi, 2. 4. *. 'tit. i. 15, 

» liC'vit. VI, 27. " Hag, ii. 13, 14. 



jhall It be unclean ? And the priefi anfwered 
and f aid, it Jhall be unclean, 'ih^n anfwered 
Haggai and /aid, fo is this people a7id fo is 
this nation before me, faith the Lord ; and 
fo is every work of their hands, and that 
ivhich they offer is unclean. "The want of 
true faith and inward obedience to God's 
command (which they fhewed by the man- 
ner in which they performed , that very 
command) made all their adlions, nay even 
the facrifices which they offered on his 
altar, hateful and unacceptable. 

A religious motive aad reverence to the 
divine authority were efteemed by the Jews 
fo effential to a good adtion, that it was a 
received maxim among them, that he who 
ebeys any command of God, but not in his 

" The building of the temple, which had been obftrUft- 
ed by the Samaritans, and totally flopped by an order fron) 
Artaxerxes, as the monarch then reigning is called by Ezra, 
Upon his death the Jeias obtained a frelh decree from Da- 
rius his fucceflbr, and the work was refumed ; bu^ they 
fliewed fuch backwardnefs and indolence in carrying it on, 
that God puniihed them with a great drought which blaft- 
ed and withered all the fruits of the earth ; a curfe, as Mr. 
Luiiith judicioufly obferves, formerly denounced againft 
them for their difobedience. See Lewt. xix. 24. Deut, 
xxviii. 23. compared with Hag. c. i. 



name, Jhall receive no reward. The natural 
reafons of this maxim I have conildered 
pretty largely j becaufe it is a point in 
which many well difpofed perfons are very 
apt to miftake, the eyes of their minds be- 
ing dazzled by the fplendor of what are 
called philofophical principles : as if God 
required not the heart as well as the head j 
as if reafon, while it is exalted by the con- 
templation of the nature and relations of 
things, was debafed by the remembrance 
of him who conflituted that nature and 
thofe relations. '' Wbatfoever ye do, faith 
the fcripture, do all to the glory of God. 
' Whatfoever ye do in word or in deed, do all 
in the name of the Lord JefUs Chrijl. " Glo- 
rify God in your body and in yourfpirit which 
are God's. God has an entire right over 
the whole of us by creation, prefervation, 
and redemption. When therefore we 
withdraw any part of us from his fervice j 
when we make our own reafon our fupreme 
rule, *• going about to efiablifh our own 
righteoufnefs inftead o^ fubmitting ouifelves 

y I Cor. X. 31. * Col. iii. 17. 

* I Cor. vi. 20, * Rom, x, 3. 

S 4 unto 


unto the righteoufnefs of Godi we invade his 
right, , we rob him of what belongs tjahim 
not onljj ,by original propriety, but more- 
over by fubfequent purchafe. And this 
\ve are guilty of whenever we glorify him 
npt in omfpirit as well as our body j whert 
pur adlions, though morally good, proceed 
not from fpiritual principles and are not 
dire<3:ed to a fpiritual end. As fuch ac^ 
tions have no refpedl to God, we cannot 
expeft him to delight in them ; and what 
he does not delight in, he will not reward. 
The my^ical union between Chriji and his 
church is reprefented to us in fcripture by 
th,e matrimonial union fubfifting between a 
man and his wife : faith is the bond, and 
good works refulting from that faith the 
fruit of that union : all other fruits are out 
of wedlock, and confequently can have no 
right to the inheritaT:ice. 

But Jecondly, though good works are 
not of themfelvesy«^«V;;;f, yet are they »^- 
cgjfary to falvation ; though faith is necej- 
Jaryy yet it is not of itfelf fufficient. 



When Satan dreXv our firft parents into 
difobedienee, he very artfully began hy 
inftilling into their mind doubts concern- 
ing the command of God : " Teat hath 
God faid ye Jhall not eat ? Having once raif- 
cd fcruples about the law, he boldly urged 
a total di(belief of the punifliment annexed 
to the breach of it. ^ S^tan faid, ye jhall 
not fiirely die. As incredulity paved the v(?ay 
to fin,> fo Q^oxiXd. faith introduce righteouf- 
nefs, and by obedience raife human nature 
to that ftate of excellence from which it 
was degraded by difobedienee: We debafe 
religion when we turn it into barren ^ei- 
culation j when we ftudy the law of God 
merely but of a defire of knowledge, with- 
out attending to the pra<£lical excellencies 
with which it abounds j when we take de- 
light in the bare aft of knowing, and neg- 
lect the duties which ought to accompany 
that knowledge j forgetting that by the 
good ground in the parable of the fower our 
Saviour himfelf tells, us are meant ' they^ 

' Gen. iii, 1 . * Gen. iii. 4, 

• "Luh viii. ij. 



who not only hear the word, but in an 
honeji and good heart having heard it keep it, 
ahd bring forth fruit loith patience. 

It is an acknowledged axiom among 
thoCe who believe any religion at all, that 
the fir ft principle in religion is to endea- 
vour to imitate the deity. It has its foun- 
dation in nature : both our a,fFei£tions and 
reafon pcrfuade us to aim at attaining thofe 
excellencies which we admire in others : 
even felf-love affifts us in performing this 
duty. No perfon of any fentiment can re- 
flect on any advances, which his nature 
makes towards a fimilitijde to the moft 
perfedt of all beings, without the higheft 
complacency and delight. This pleafure 
is greatly encreafed by the additional re- 
flediioh, that he is fulfilling the end of his 
creation, and acquiring the friendfliip and 
favour of him whofe favour and friendfhip 
is man's higheft felicity and honour. 
^ God cannot but behold with approbation 

}icycv, 'in tS aftoiai li a/jjict (pi\ev a» eir,. Plat, de Leg. !■ 4' 
EKtitm; an&irhxi^ aiflav .^ASctyfj.iJa. j^ wrsrsV/itsJ*. >^ ^nriut^ 
•nsi Ttt izj&irstm culls a}aju (tiftsvi^'cv;, ratp^oaviilft '^ eiKMcm- 
mvt t^ (piTitui^^amav, tij im 'einSii Je* 'sri, 


SERMON Vm. 283 

in his rational creatures, every degree of 
conformity to that everlafting holinefs and 
righteoufnefs which, being eflential to his 
nature, conftantly and invariably determine 
his adtions; and are therefore made the 
rule and the motive of theirs. With this 
viewA he created man in his own image* 
To renew this image, after it had been 
defaced by fin, ha:s been the gracious pur- 
pofe of all his difpenfations. When he 
feledted to himfelf a peculiar people, this 
was the general preface and introduftion 
to the laws which he prefcribed, ^yejhali 
be hdlyt for ■ / the Lord your God am holy. 
And thiis declaration of God's will is par- 
ticularly applied by " St. Peter to the Chrif- 
tian religion ; the true profeflbrs of which 
are faid * to have put on the new man, which 
is renewed after the image of him who created 
him j " which after God, »«tl» ®iov after the 
fimilitude of God, is created in righteouf- 
kefs and true holinef. For this purpofe he 
fent down ' the exprefs image of his perfon, 

8 Levit. xix. 2. •■ I Pet. i. 16. 

» Colof. iii, 10. k Ephef. iv. 24. 

' Heb. i. 2, 



that we might have a vijible pattern and 
example of thofe excellencies and perfec- 
tions which we are required to imitate j 
that by the exercife of Chriftian virtues 
upon Chriftian principles we might " be 
conformed to the image of the Son ofGodt " he 
made partakers of the divine nature, and 
from a likenefs to Chriji in holinefs now 
be made like unto him in glory hereafter. 

As ° the^ Law was our School-majier to 
bring us to Chriji, fo is the Gofpel our 
teacher by which we are trained up for the 
kingdom of heaven. The duties which it 
prefcribes are not only a neceffary condition, 
but moreover a neceffary qualification for it. 
' Nothing that defiieth can in any wife enter 
into heaven. Every impurity alienates the 
mind from God and from every thing that 
is fpiritual and holy. How then can a 
foul defiled with fin be a fit companion for 
thofe fpiritSj who are ever employed in the 
contemplation and adoration of that holy 

" 'Rom. viii. 29. " 2 Pet. I. 4. 

" Gcfl. iii,,z4. ' ? Rev. xxi. 27, 



Being who ' w of purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity ^ Surely they are ill qualified to 
join with the bleffed choir above, whofe 
very ' prayers are an abomination unto the 
Lord: they cati be but ill-difpofed to pay 
continual praifes and thankfgivings to God* 
who have been always accuftomed to dif- 
regard his attributes, defpife his wifdom, 
rejeft his mercy, and hold his power and 
juftice at defiance. There can be no plea- 
fure where the objedt is not fuited to the 
faculties that receive it : as therefore a car- 
nal man can never delight in fpiritual du- 
ties, nor he that is immerfed in matter re- 
lifli thofe that are altogether intelleftual : 
fo neither can the enviouSj the revengeful,, 
and the malicious ( without a noriracle 
wrought in their favour) become capable . 
fubjeds of that happinefs which confifts'of 
peace and univerfal benevolence. For 
' what fellowjhip hath righteoufnefs with un- 
righteoufnefs F What communion or agrfee- 
ment can envy, malice, hatred, and re- 
venge have with charity, goodnefs, and 

9 Haiac. i. 13 ' Prov. xxviii, 9. 

* 2 Cor. vi, 1^. 

love ? 


love ? They are as oppofite as dafknefs to 
light, as Belial to Cbriji. We muft lay 
the foundation of our fpiritual building on 
earth, if we mean to have it finiftied and 
perfeded in heaven : we muft perform 
good works in this world, if we 'wifh to 
enjoy the reward belonging to them in the 

When the lawyer afked our Saviour 
* what he muji do to inherit eternal life, the 
only rule which he prefcribed to him was 
obedience. If thou wilt enter into life, keep 
the commandments. Chriftianity does not 
exempt us from any moral duty. Some 
of the circumftances indeed of the moral 
law are abrogated ; but its fubftance and 
authority ftill remain and will for ever re- 
main in full fcTrce. " // is edjier for heaveji 
and earth to pxifs than one tittle of the law 
to fail. The fame fins are forbidden, the' 
fame virtues required, the "fame duties re- 
commended and enjoined in the gofpel ^nd 
in the law j but not on the fame terms.^ 
The law confidered as a covenant of works 

t Matt. xix. i6, i7. " Lukexxi. 17. 



admitted of no mitigation : but under the 
gofpel, which is a covenant of grace, re- 
pentance reftores the tranfgrelTor to the fa- 
vour of God, and inftead of perfcdt exa(3:- 
nefs, the fincere endeavours of a true be- 
liever are through the merits of Chfiji ac- 

But does not this diflblve our obligation 
to obedience ? God forbid : on the con- 
trary it makes the obligation ftrifter. We 
are not only bound by the authority of 
God's injundion, but by the exprefs com- 
mand of our Redeemer and Mediator j vfc 
have a clearer know^ledge of our duty, and 
the affiftance of the holy fpirit to perform 
it : we hav6 better and more explicit pro- 
mife's, and fuller aflurances of reward. 
Every wilful tranfgreffion under fuch ad- 
vantages acquires an additional degree of 
guilt ; and therefore our Saviour tells us 
that ^ except our righteoujhefs Jhall exceed the- 
rigbteoufnefs of the Scribes and Pharifees, 
we Jhall in no wife enter into the kingdom of 
heaven. They had refpedt only to the out- 

'"'Mati. J. XX. 



•ward deed ; whereas in a Chriflian inward 
intention and purity of heart are required i 
they made the applaufe of men and their 
own credit the principle and end of their 
adions J but to a true Chriflian the glory 
of God is the end; love, obedience, and 
faith in his promifes the principles and 
motives of righteoufnefs. Hence is Chrif- 
tian obedience ftiled the * work of faith 
and the labour of love. Chxl^hxifaiih is a 
vital and operative habit of mind -, it works 
powerfully upon every faculty, quickens 
every grace, and makes our obedience wil- 
ling, eafy, and conftant. Love is a paf- 
fion of the mind which excites us to ac- 
tion i it follows with pleafure, purfues;- 
with vigour, and promotes with unwearied 
application the inteireft and honour of its 
objedt : our afFedtions are no fooner fixed 
upon any particular perfon, but our thoughts ' 
and defires are immediately eager and rell- 
lefs after opportunities of fhewing our re- 
verence and efteem ; we ftudy to pleafe, 
we try all methods to oblige him, we 
receive his commands with pleafure, and 

* I Thef. i. 3, 


SERMON Vlir, 289 

we execute them with chearfulnefs. Every 
motive to love afforded by the gofpel is 
likewife a motive for obedience. ^ Ifynu 
Iwe me keep my commandments. As obedi- 
ence without love is flaveryi fo love with- 
out obedience is but an abftradted, wild, 
and fruitlefs fpeculation, without any foun- 
dation in reafon and the nature of things. 
For " what is rational 701;^, but ^ dejire to 
*' pleafe the perfon beloved, and a compla- 
" cency and fatisfadlion in pleafing him? 
*' Tp love God therefore is to have a fin- 
*« cfire define of obeying his laivs, and a de- 
" light or pleafure in the confcience of that 
" pbedkiu?" Men's practices are the beft 
indexes of their principles. If the love of 
Qod was firmly rooted in the heart, it 
would foon (hew its power and efficacy by 
fpringing up into acStion and abounding in 
every duty, in all goodneis, and righteouf- 
nefs, and truth. . And hence (becaufe thefe 
two principles oi faith and love are the 
main fprings of all our good aftions) our 
obedience by a figure of fpeech naming the 
caufe alone, where together with it the 

1 John xiv. 15. 

T efFea 


effedt is intended and underftood — by this 
figure, I fay, our obedience to the laws 
and commands of God are often in fcrip- 
ture expreffed by onx faith in him, our love 
of him, , and by other caufes and principles 
which produce or chiefly concur in pro- 
ducing that obedience. But if love and 
faith are the principal caufes of good works j 
then furely Chriftians, who have fuch fu- 
perior motives to love God and have faith 
in him, are of courfe under greater obli- 
gations to a fincere, Conftant, and univer- 
fal obedience. Without that our love is 
hypocrify, our faith nothing more than an 
hiftorical or dogmatical belief, and fo far 
from faving will condemn us. '■'' For if we 

Jin wilfully after thiit we have received the 
khowledge of the truth, there remaineth no 
more facrifice for fins. He that defpifed Mo- 

fes's law died without mercy under tviM) or 
three witnejfes. Of how much for er punifi-i 
meht, fuppofeye, fijall he be thought worthy, 
who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, ' 
and hath counted the tlbod of the covenant 
wherewith he was fanSiified an unholy thing t 

* Hei. X. 26. zB, zg. 



and hath done defpight unto the Jpirit of 



The gofpel is a covenant of mercy, and 
alfo a law of obedience. Jefus Chriji is 
our Lor4 as well as Saviour : he came into 
the world to reljcue us from the dominion 
as well as the punijhment of fin ; * that we 
being delivered from our enemies might ferve 
him mkhout fear in holinefs and righteoufnefs 
all the days of our life. * He game bi^felf 
({ays St. Paul) that he might redeem us from 
all iniquity. It was by no means the de- 
fign oi Chriji to tolera^te the pradice of fin, 
or abate men any part of their moral duty : 
on the contrary he has adopted and per- 
i^dted the moral law ; and having made it 
a ilandard and rule of obedience to him- 
felf he has, as lord and lawgiver, enjoined 
the ftridt .obfervance of it, under the title 
of bis commandments, to his difciples as 
an indifpenfible condition of eternal hap- 
pinefs. * Chriji is phe author of eternal fal- 
vatian unto all them^ and them only, who 

» Luke i. 74. ^ Tit. ii. 14. 

Heb. V, 3, 

T 2 oiey 

292 SERMON Vlir. 

obey him ; who pay him an aftual and po- 
litive obedience and fervice. * The man 
who hid his talent in a napkin was con- 
demned for negle(ft of duty j not becaufe 
he had fquandered it away, but becaufe he 
had not improved it. • The barren^^-/r<?^, 
an emblem of thofe who content them- 
felves with a bare profeffion, was curfed 
becaufe it bore only leaves and no fruit ; 
and ' every tree, which bringeth not forth 
good fruit, is hewn down and caji into the 
fire. No human legiflator ever difcovered 
his mind more clearly and fully upon any 
fubjed than our divine legiflator has upon 
this. ^ Why call you me Lord, Lord, and 
do not the things which I fay f '' Not every 
one that faith unto me Lord, Lord, jhall 
enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he 
that doeth the will of my father which is in 
heaven. In the sketches which he "has 
been pleafed to give us of the great day of 
retribution, he every where tells us ex- 
prefsly that man fhall be finally rewarded 
according to his works ', that not only the 

■• Luke xix, « Matth. xxi. 19. • 

f Matth. iii, 2. 8 Luke vi. 46, 

* Matth. vii. 21. 



mere name of Chriftianity, and the naked 
profeffion of the faith without the prac- 
tice of it, but even eminent and extraordi- 
nary gifts without obedience to his com- 
mands fhall avail nothing to falvation. 
' Many 'mill fay unto me in that day Lord, 
Liordy have we not prophejied in thy name, 
and in thy name caji out devils ? and in thy 
name done many wonderful works ^f And then 
I will profefs unto them, I never knew you ; 
depart from me ye that work iniquity. The 
fame truth is upon all occafions declared - 
to us by his embaffadors. ^ In them only, 
according to St. Faul, there is no condem- 
nation J in them only is the righteoufnefs of 
the law fulfilled^ who walk not after thefejh 
hut after the fpirit ; they only are the fans of 
God, who are led by the fpirit of God. * St. 
James wrote profefledly in defence of this 
doctrine j and St. John, the beloved dif- 

' Maith. vii. 22, 23, * IRom. viii, i. 4. 14. 

' Many of the antieiits (and our moft excellent Bilhop 
Bull fubfcribes to their opinion) tell us that the contrary 
(doftrine owed its rife to a mifinterpretation of fome pafTa- 
ges in St. Paul ; and that againft this miiinterpretation and 
the notion confequent upon it the Epiftk of St. James, the 
firfl of St. John, the/econd of St. Piter, andjhat oi St. Jude 
were written. 



ciple of Chrifl , tells us that " whofo 
keepeth his word, in him verily is the love 
6f God perfedled: " Let no man deceive ym, 
he that doeth righteoufntfi is righteous j 
ivhbfoever doeth hot righteoujnefs is not of 
God. And in another place, " Blejfed are 
they that do his commandments, that they ma^ 
have right to the tree of life, and may enter 
through the gates into the new Jerufalem, 

The word which is here rendered by 
the Englijh Word right is l^mfia, ; which 
word, as every one who has the leaft ac- 
quaintance witli the Greek language muft 
know, fignifieis not aii ahfolute inherent 
right, a right of merit (as the church of 
Rome infolently teaches) but only a right 
of permi^oh : and therefore the paflage 
ought to have been rendered, that they 
may have liberty, may be permitted, to come 
to the tree of life. In every claim of ahfo- 
lute right there muft be an equivalence, a 
natural proportion between the work and 
t]be reward. Now what proportion can 

"■ I John ii, 5. » I Jdhn iii. 7. 10. 

" Revel, xxii. 14. 



there be between a temporary obedience 
and an eternal reward ? Beiides, our obe- 
4jience at beft is but imperfed : and were 
it perfedb yet, as it is our bounden duty to 
God, it could not of right and juflic^ 
(l^allenge a reward from him to whom it 
was due. What title then, what right 
have they that do God's com,mandments to 
eternal life? I anfwer, a t\i\c by fromfe, 
a Jllpulated federal right. In every co- 
venant there mufl be conditions ; in the 
covenant made, through the mediation 
of Chriji, betweeij ,God and man the 
condition on the part of man is obedience 
to God's commands^ and to this obedience 
God on his part has been pleafed to annex 
the promife of eternal life j and therefore 
St. Paul calls the gofpel ^ the truth which 
is after gpdlinefs in hope of eternal Ife, lahich 
G()d that cannot lie ■ promifed. The fame 
veracity and ^ithfulne% which wi^l moft 
afluredly beftow the rei^ard upon tho^e 
who fulfil the conditions, is likewife bound 
to exclude thofe who negled: the terms of 
the covenant. To what purpofe ihould 

r Tit. i. I, 2. 

T 4 men 


men be exhorted to ' bring forth fruits 
meet for repentance, to ' live righteoufly for 
berly and devoutly , to ' put on the whote 
armour of God, to ' put on the new creature 
•which is created after God in righteoufnefs 
and true holinefsy if after all the (Sow was to 
extend his merits, and the Father accept 
them in favour of thofe who will do none 
of thefe things ? Such a fuppofition- would 
confound all motions of right and wrong, 
deftroy all diftindlion between virtue and 
vice, and rob God of his truth, his juftice, 
and his hoiinefs -^ of his truth, fince he 
has " revealed his wrath againfl all ungodlinefs 
and unrighteoufnefs of men who- hold faith in 
unrighteoufnefs, and hath excluded all fuch 
from- ^ €my inheritance in the "kingdom' of 
Chrijl and of God: of his jujiice in giving 
the righteous man's reward to tranfgref- 
fion and difobedience : of his hoUnefs, for 
then " the workers of iniquity wduld Jiand in 
his fight, ^ his eyes would behold evil and look 
on inifUity. 

« Malth. Hi. %. ' Tit. ii. la.i 

' Ephef. vi. 1 1 . t Ephef. iv. 24. 

" Rom. i. 18. * Ephef. v. 5. 

' P/. V. 5. y Habfu. i. 13. 

I fcarce 


. I fcarce need obferve how much this 
' dodtrine of the necejjity of good works has 
been controverted in almoft every age of 
the church by fchoolmeh ftildious of per- 
plexing clear paffages with nice metaphy- 
iical fubtilties and diilindlions ; by weak 
ignorant men fond of ufing fcripture terms 
without underftanding their meaning j afid 
by warm enthujiajls who find myfteries in 
the plaineft phrafes, and then work them- 
felves up into a belief that to 'them alone 
it is given to underftand myfteries. What 
can be plainer, when not darkened by 
words without knowledge, than the true 
notion of our falvation by the grace of God ? 
And yet how has it been mifapplied, with- 
out any countenance whatever from fcrip- 
ture, to fupport the dodlrine oi unconditio- 
nal eleBion and reprobation^ a doftrine fo 
abfurd that one may well wonde^ how it 
could find reception among philofophers, 
fo impious that a fincere Chriftian can 
with difficulty conceive how it ever could 
prevail among divines : a dodrine deftruc- 
tive of the principles of our reafonable na- 
ture and of at leaft the moral part of divi- 


nity, and contradictory to every covenant 
which the wifdom and goodoef^ of God 
has been pleafed to make with fallen man. 
' Walk before me, faid he to Abraham, and 
be thou perfeB ; and I will make my cove- 
nant between me and thee. If Abraham was 
not a free and ratiorjal agent capable of 
breaking as well as keeping this covenant, 
to what purpofe was it made ? If his elec- 
tion was unconditional, why does God re- 
quire conditions of him ? And if there is 
no neceflity of faith and ob^edience, why 
are phey made the exprefs conditions ? 
Why is he fo highly commended in the 
fcriptures of the New '\tejiament, and pro- 
poied as a pattern of faith and obedience 
to all Chriftians ? When Gpd afterwards 
made a covenant with the Jews, * Mofes 
read the- iaok of the covenant in the audience 
of the people ; and they Jaid^ All Sh0 the 
Lord hath faid we will do, tmfi be ofiedi^f'f. 
When Jojhua renewed it again, the people 
fai.d ^ l^ke J_,ord our God will weferve, and 
his fvojce will we obey. Does it not from 

^ Gemf. xvii. i, 2. * Exod. xxiv.'7. 

* Jofi. xxiv. 24. 


S E R .M O N VIII. 299 

thefe promifes and aflfeverations evidently 
follow that they were confcious of an ekc- 
tive principle within themfelves ; of fa- 
culties competent to adt as well as intend, 
to perform as well as promife j of powers 
fufficient to denominate their good aftions 
their own, and give their loyal obedience 
a title to the favour and protedion of God ? 
The fame ohfervation may be made of the 
covenant of grace j the many paffages 
which I have cited, wherein good works 
are required of Chriftians, being a plain 
and full proof that as we are rational crea- 
tures capable of afting with defign and 
counfel, fo does God expedt that by a 
proper ufe and application of our faculties 
that defign and that counfel fhould be 
dire<3:ed to his honour and glory, and to 
the performance of thofe conditions upon 
which 'he has made our falvation to d:ei 

The term grace (which has given occa- 
fion to this unfeemly notion of juftification 
without the ufe of any means whatfoever) 
implies kindnefs and favour, including in 
it the idea of a fuperior who freely and vo- 


luntarily beftows that favour. Hence it 
is ufed in different fignifications and for 
different gifts, when applied to different 
perfons and on different occafions; but 
when ufed in general without a reference 
to any particular inflance, th^ free grace of 
Gad has only two fignifications. It means 
either that fpecial &&. of his mere goodnefs 
whereby he was pleafed, without any ob- 
ligation on his part or claim on ours, to 
reflore us to his favour through the fatif- 
fadtion of a Redeemer : or it means that 
other aft of undeferved mercy ' whereby 
God, for the fake of our Saviour and thro' 
the intervention of his merits, will accept 
of fincerity inftead of perfedlion, of a hearty 
and honefl iriflead of a finlefs and unerring 
obedience. In the ^ir/? fenfe we are faid 
to be '' jujlified freely by his grace through 
th^ redemption that is in Jefus Chriji ; z.r\& 
in the latter to be ^ jujlified' by grace, not 
of works. 

Thefe are not the only pafTages out of 
the writings of St. Paul which have been 

iii. 24. ■» Ephef. ii. 8, 9. 



made fubfervient to the introduftion of 
dangerous errors concerning this important 
dod:rine. He has faid in feveral places 
that * man is jujiified by faith without, the 
deeds of the law : and from hence many 
even learned men (without paying the Icaft 
attention to the numberlefs other poiitive 
texts of fcripture, and to the nature of 
that faith and thofe works which are here 
mentioned) have cried down the neceffity 
of good works, and attributed the whole 
^ ouv jujiificaiiott to faith alone ; as if evan- 
gelical obedience was no part of the evan- 
gelical covenant ; and men might in con- 
tradiction to the diredt words of our Sa- 
viour ^ enter into life without keeping the 
commandments. The works which the 
i^poille excludes from any fhare in our juf- 
tification he himfelf calls in exprefs terms 
the deeds of the law : for the right under- 
ftanding of which it is neceffary to obferve 
that the converted yews had brought into 
Chriftianity all their prejudices in favour 
of the Mofaieal law, and urged the necef- 

' Rom. iii. 28. — v. i. Gal, ii. 16. — iii. 24.. 
^ Matt. xix. 17. 



fity of ftri(ftly adhering to all its rites and 
ceremonial performances. Againft thefe 
patrons of legal fervitude the apoftle of the 
Gentiles every where aflerts ^ the liberty 
wherewith Chri/t hath Jet us free ; and, in 
order to fet forth and vindicate the fupe- 
rior excellence and pre-eminence of the 
gofpel, he flrongly prefles and inculcates 
the dodrine oi jtifiificatkn by fidth in Jefus 
Chriji: i.e. by the E-u^aw^^/^m/' in oppoli- 
tion to the Mofaical difpenfation. But he 
does not any where oppofe faith to works 
of righteoufnefs which are founded in 
Chriji ', he no where tells us that man is 
juftified by a mere folitary belief; that 
an empty fpeculative faith, an afTurancej 
a reliance and recumbence (^n C&riji, that 
laying hold on the fkirts of his garments 
and wrapping ourfelves up with his righ- 
teoufnefs will be fuiicient to place us in 
the number of the righteous, and qualify 
us for the kingdom of heaveUi Alas ! 
this is not faith but folly, this is not hope 
but prcfumption. Why has God made us 
capable of moral influences, if we are not 

B Gal. V. I. 



fubjeS: to moral duties ? Why has he im- 
planted fuch an aftive principle in us, and 
promifed us the additional affiftance of his 
holy fpirit, if that principle is ufelefs, that 
affiftance unnecelTary ? Great things in- 
deed are fpoken of faith j but they are 
^oken of a true Chriftian faith j which is 
the caufe and fpring of Chriftian piety, 
which implies and includes within it the 
whole and entire condition of the gofpel. 

It is worthy of obfervation how careful 
St. Paul is, left we fliould have any other 
notion of the faith which he fo much ex- 
tols. Does ^he tell the Galatians that * in 
J^Jks Chriji neither circumcijion avaikth any 
thing, nor uncircumcifion; ■ but faith which 
•werketh by love ? Left his meaning though 
clearly enough exprelTed fhould notwith- 
ftanding be miftaken, he more fully ex- 
plains himfelf in a parallel paflage to the 
Corinthians — ■ Circumcijion is nothing, and 
ttacircttmcijion is nothing; but the keeping (f 
the commandments of God. Is Chriji in one 

•■ Gal. V, 6. " I Cor. vii. 19- 



place ftiled by him '' the Saviour of all 
ejpecially thofe that believe F he is in another 
called ^ the author of eternal Jalvation unto 
all them that obey him. He Recommends 
and urges the practice of righteoufnefs by 
every motive that can influence a Chrif- 
tian. Even in the midft of that difcourfe, 
on which the j^o/j^i/zi^wj fo much rely, he 
draws an argument in favour of good 
works from that very faith which is fet up 
in oppofition to them. "^ We are buried 
with him by baptifm into death ; tjoat, as 
Chriji was raifed up from the dead by the 
glory of the Father, even fo we aljo Jhould 
walk in newnefs of life. As the bad lives 
of believers refledt diftionour upon God 
and his religion , fo the beft fecurity 
of the honour of Chriftianity is a ftridt ob- 
fervance of its laws : he therefore exhorts 
us to ftiew ourfelves "patterns of goad . 
works, that he that is of a contrary part 
may be ajhamed, having no evil thing to Jay, 
of us — that we may adorn the doSlrine of 
God our Saviour in all things — " that we may 

k 1 Tim. iv. 10. ' Heh. v. 9. 

» Rem. vi. 4. \Tit. ii. 7, 8. 10. 

« Phil. ii. IS- 



he blamelefs and harmlefs, the fom of God, 
without rebuke. He preffes them from 
their fujtablenefs to the profeffion of Chrif- 
tianity, and (that powerful motive of obe- 
dience) the will of God. ^ Let your con- 
•oerfation be as becometh the gofpel of jChriJl^ 
"^Wialk as_ the children of light (for the fruit 
ofthefpirit is in all' goodnefs, and righieouf 
nefs, and truth) proving what is accept abk 
unto the Lord. ' For this is the will of God 
even your fanElification. They are our call- 
ing, the great end and defign of the gofpel 
revelation. ' God hath not called us unto 
Uflcleannefs hut unto holinefs. ' 'this is a 

P Phil. i. 27. ' EpheJ. v. 8, 9, 10. 

' 1 Theff. iv, 3. ' \ Theff. iv. 7. 

t 7it. iii. '8. Two learned men, Grotjus and Dr. Ham- 
mond, contend that St. Paul by his exhortation to maintain 
good 'works means no more,"than that Chriftians fhould fol- 
low fome honeft labour and vocation. This opinion the 
latter endeavours to eftablifti by remarking that the word 
i^ya^i^ is always ufed by the apoflle to fignify bodily la- 
bour : but as cj^^soS^ is not the term made ufe of in this 
paflage ; this criticifm, however true, cannot prove what 
is intended by it. The apoftle had in the foregoing verfes 
fpoken of our juftiiication by the Jree 'grace and mercy of 
God in Je/us Chriji. Left therefore this doftrine fhould 
be abufed, he here immediately gives a ftridl and folemn 
charge to Titus to prefs the neceffity of good luot'ks upon 
all^hofe who embrace the gofpel. The concluiion drawn 
by the two great men before mentioned does by no means 
correfpond with the premifes. Can any one ferioufly ima- 
gine, that St, PW would in fo folemn a manner uiher in 
U a matter 

^o6 SERMON Vni. 

faithful faying^ and thefe things I will thai 
thou affirm eonjiantfy that they, which have 
believed in God, might be cureful to main- 
tain good works. " Our Saviour fefus Chrijl 
gave htmfelj for us that he might redeem us 
from, all iniquity, and purify unto himfelf a 
peculiar people zealous of good works. More- 
over, as if thefe motives were not fufEcient, 
he every where makes the practice of mo- 
ral duties an abfolute condition of falvation. 
" The wrath cf God is revealed againfi all 
ungodlinefs and unrighteoufnefs. * Becaufe of 
thefe things cometh the wrath of God upon the 
children of difobedtence. ^ 'The unrighteous 
fhall not inherit the kingdom of God. ' Fol- 

a matter of fnch mean confequence ; and ftt forth the won- 
derful love of God in the great work of our redemption 
merely to infer from it, that men ought to be careful to 
employ themfelves in fome honeft tr-ade or calling ? As to 
Grotius's interpretation of njiXa* jejj«» wesisaeSS fraej^e bmU 
operibu! — it is furely more agreeable to the context, more 
.Worthy of apoftolical advice, and more honourable for 
Chfif);ians, that th»y fhould be patterns and precedents of 
holinefs, the chief and foremoft, eminent and remarkable 
^bove all others in the difcharge of moral and religiovs 
duties, than that they fhould be examples of diligence and 
induflry, preiiding and looking over their famil^s in the 
exercife of a trade however honeft and ufefnl. 

» &om.\, 1 8. * Ephef.y. 6. 

y I Cer. vi. 9. » Heb. xii. 14. 


low hollnejs, without which no man Jhall fee 
the Lord- 

^ Upon the whole then St. Paul evident- 
ly concurs with the other apoftles in car- 
rying on with the greateft uniformity the 
caufe of evangelicatl righteoufnefs, to which 
alone our Saviour has annexed the reward 
of eternal happinefe. This righteoufnefs 
(as has, I flatter myfelf, been abundantly 
proved) confifts xnfaithinQbriJi and obedi- 
ence to his commands. Thefe will through 
the grace of God and the fatisfadtion of 
Qkriji affuredly and efFedually procure our 
juftification and falvation : through the 
grace of God \ fay, as the principal efficient 
caufe by which fallen man is reftored to 
his favour j through the fatisfaSlion of 
Chrijl, as the meritorious caufe for the 
fake of which God pardons, juftifies, and 
beftows eternal life upon thofe who fin- 
cerely perform the conditions oi faith and 
tbedience required in the evangelical cove- 

It ill becomes us to pry too curioufly 

into and dogmatically pronounce upon 

U 2 God's 

3o8 SERMON Vllf. 

God's fccret decrees : but it is every man'sf 
bounden duty, written in plain charaftersf 
upon the mind of every man, to obey with 
awe and reverence his exprefs commands* 
Scripture cannot be at variance with itfelf. 
We ought therefore fo to temper the fenfc 
of pafTages feemingly contradictory, as to 
rob neither of that honour and fubmiffion' 
which is due to every part of the wOrd of' 
God. When therefore falvation is aferib- 
cd to his j^^^ grace', we ought to conclude; 
that our own endeavours are fuppofed to 
co-operate with it : when we are exhort-' 
cd to work out our own falvation, we 
ought not to exclude the concurrence of, 
his grace, by which * his firength is made 
perfeSi in our weaknefs. When we are faid 
to be juftified through j^/V/^, we ihould un- 
der^ind fuch a faith as is produftive of 
good works ': when we read of the glorious 
promifes made to good works, we muft con- 
fine them to fuch works only as fpring* 
from a true lively Jai^h in Jefus Chriji. 

'' What therefore God hath joined together, 
let not man put ajunder. Let us not fo abafe 

» 2 Car. xii. 9. - •• Matth. xix. 6. 

- the 


the mercy of God as to refufc him our obe- 
dience : let us not think fo highly of our 
obedience as to depreciate his mercy. Let 
us * acknowledge the truth which is after god- 
linefs J fo entirely depend upon the grace 
of God and the merits of our Saviour, as if 
our own endeavours were altogether infig- 
nificant and ufelefsj and be at the fame 
time fo adtive and laborious in the ways of 
righteoufnefs and holinefs, as if we were able 
by the ftrength and power of nature alone 
to * work the works of God, and 'lay hold on 
eternal life. . Finally therefore (to conclude 
with the words with which I began) F/- 
nally, brethren, whatfoever things are true, 
mhaifoever things are honejl, whatfoever 
things arejnf, whatfoever things are pure, 
whatfoever things are lovely, whatfoever 
things are of good report ; if there be any 
virtue, and if there be any praife, think on thefe 

' ' Tit..\. I. "I John vi. 28. 

* I Tim. vi. iz. 


A Vindication of St. PsluI from the charge of 
wijhing himfelf occurfed : 




[ 3 ] 

Rom. ix. 2, 3. 

/ have great heavinefs and continual forrow 
in my heart. For I could ivijh that myfelf 
•were accurfedfrom Chrijifor my brethren. 

i ' I ^HERE is fomething fo exceeding- 
J. ly unnatural in the wifli fuppofed 
to be contained in this portion of fcripture, 
that notwithfttinding all the pains taken by 
learned and pious men to explain and qua- 
lify it, I cannot be induced to think that 
it ever proceeded from the great Apoftle to 
whom It is attributed. The very fubjedt' 
he is treating of feems to me a mod evi- 

a If any perfon is defirous of knowing the different 
ipodes of explainipg and qualifying this paffage hitherto 
attempted, let him confult Witfius^s Differtation upon it in 
the zd volume of his Mifcellanea Sacra. 


4 A Vindicatm of Si,. Paul, &c. 

dent arid abfolute demonftration to the 
contrary. In the preceding chapter he 
fets forth the glorious privileges of God's 
eleft : it begins with a triumphant decla- 
ration that ^jhere is no condemnation to them 
that are in Chriji jefus, and ends in the 
fame exulting ftrain, with a firm perfua- 
fion " that neither death, nor life, nor angels, 
nor principalities, nor powers, nor things pre- 
fent, nor things to come, nor height^ nor 
depthi nor any other creature, Jhall be able 
tofeparaieusfromthe love of God which is 
in Chriji fefus_ our Lord. Can it be ima- 
gined that he would in the very next fen-? 
tence wiih to be cut off from that falvation 
on which he dwells with fuch rapturous 
ardency of exprepion I Could he, who 
was taught Ghriilianity by Chriji himfelf]^ 
conceive that his own damnation could in 
any wife contribute to the, glory of God 
or the happinefs of his brethren ? Such^ a 
fuppofition furely is abfurd and impious : ' 
and however the words are modified into a 
figurative hyperbolical exprefllon, denoting 
the fervency of his zeal and affed:ion j 

* C. viii. I. .'V. 38, 39. 

iiZ how- 

A Vindication of St. Paul, &c. 5 

however qualified into an hypothetical or 
conditional enuntiation , fignlfying only 
that were it poffible or proper he could 
maijh to be accurfed from Chri/i ; they ftill 
feem to contain in them matter at which 
human nature ihudders, againU which 
right reafon and Chriftianity revolt. 

To refcue the Apoftle from the impu- 
tation of fo extravagant a declaration is my 
defign in the following difcourfe : in order 
to which I (hall endeavour to prove that 
his words have in reality a very different 
meaning j and confirm the expoiition which 
I fhall give of them by (hewing (from a 
few obfervations on the charadter of the 
fewSy that of St. Paul, and the doSlrines 
here treated of) that it tends to illuftrate 
the whole tenour of the Apoftle's argu- 
ment, and the peculiar manner in which 
he enforces it upon the prepoiTeffions and 
prejudices of thofe whom he addrefles. 

' The paflage, as it now ftands, is in- 

* St. Paul, as his manner is (fays father Simon) expreffes 
himfelf in fo few words, that we muft fupply fomething 
to Ihew the caufe of his great forrow j which the words 
that follow feem to point at. 


^ A^'Vindkation of St. Paul, G?f. 

conclufive : it declares the Apoftle's great 
uneafinefs and forrowj but makes no men - 
lion of the caufe or objedt of it. This 
may be remedied by uniting the two verfcs 
into one period, and throwing that part of 
it wihich we render 1 could tvijhthat myfelf 
were accurjed from Chrifi into a parenthefis : 
for then the context will be full and ex- 
plicit — / have great heavinefs and continual 
fprrow in my heart for, or on account of my 
brethren. The fentence, which- 1 difmem- 
berras it were from the reft, runs thus in 
the original ;^j^;ti5ji*?ii'i^ o/^rof lyu eiva^ avao' 
elTTo y x^i<r^. The word ^v^of^w does not 
feem to me to ht -potential, but barely to 
denote fomething which theApoftle had 
formerly done -, neither do I conceive the; 
leaft idea of a wifli annexed to it in this 
place. It does undoubtedly often fignify 
to wjjh ox pray, for ; ^it moreover figpifies 

= eajJEo^V >JfiW-r-'ivj(iS!^, AsV"» — ?(/;!;«;Mi5». <?'«i«^''' Hefycb.[ 

fiof ^ivoj viU — 'ivzif ^'i-i I*«K>l! Bftifoi. Etym. Magn. The 
Lesicojis will fupplf ! many other inftances. The.wbrd 
&««» feems to be of a fomewhat fimilar nature. Thus m 
JiiK»u«5 uex^t Mark X. 42. is the fafne as ii ol^jjovTssMaW'^. 
XX. 2y. — and « ItimXa? Liiie xxii. 25. Thus in our 
ApoRle\frfi Efi. to the Cor. vii. 40. hxci artsS^ &b» i^hi 
fignifies / have the fpirit of God. i hx-m .£?«»«/» x. 1 2. he 

A Vindkation of St. Paul, ^c. 7 

to profefs, and is likewife very frequently 
pleonajiical. One fingle fentence . which 
occurs in alnioft every page of Homer v/i\\ 
fully explain my meaning. That poet 
ufually obferves, upon the introdudtion of 
a diftinguifhed hero, that ^tos ttms 'i^vxiro «»<*/ 
i. e. He gloried in being, of he profejfed that 
he was, or firnply ^? was the/on of Jupiter. 
St. P<j«/'s phrafeology is exadly the fame j 
and therefore I conclude tha.t in the fame 
plain, natural, and obvious fenfe of the 
word he here declares that he himfelf once 
gloried in being, he himfelf once profejfed that 
he was, or Amply he himfelf once was dvdB-e- 
fjM ciTrh 7-3 xpir^ : for the words owror syu 
ought undoubtedly in the conftrudlion im- 
mediately to precede i^v^o[A,riv, not Svoj, as 
in our tranflation ; they feem moreover to 
imply that whatever was the Apollle's ob- 
jedt was alfo the objeft of thofe whom he 
addrefles, omJt-W iya I myfelf likewij'e as well 
as you. This objeil was cii/d3-i[ji.a, Hvct\ ^Vo 
TSx^i9«; which words, according to the 
' authorities cited by Dr. Whitby from the 

that ftands. l hxm »*«/ ^Asuax®-' xi. 16. he that is contentious 
• — wTTs hxH iis&lfiiT^s eUtof, xivi 37. if any man h^ a prophet. 
^ Qrig. Chry/oft. Theod. Oec. Phot. Theophyl. 


8 A Vindication ofBu Paul, 6?f. 
Grffi fathers, are of the fame import as 

hcwsireiv tyis ^o^*is to be an alien from Chriflf to 
be feparated from his love, to fall from the 
glory andfahation purchafed by him. 

The Apoftle is generally, and I think 
juftly, fuppofed to have the Jewifh excom- 
munications in view, and particularly that 
kind of them called Cberem, ufually ex- 
preffed in Greek by the word kv&^ifjua. -, in 
which to the deprivation of the commerce 
and benefits of fociety were added curfes 
and execrations, and the perfon up- 
on whom this punifliment was inflidted 
' was utterly detejied and utterly abhorred, 

for he was a curfed thing. To this the 
Apoftle alludes, to fliow the wretchednefs 
of his former and by implication their pre- 

Jent fituation. / fnyfelf fays he, likewife 
once was an accurfed thing, an alien from 
Chriji, cut of from his love, and excommu- 
nicated from alljhare in the glory and f aha- 
tion purchafed by him. And to what ftate 
more properly, than that wherein ofFen- 

t Deut. vii. 26. 


A VinScation of St. Paul, &c. 9 

ders among themfelves were ftripped of all 
the honours and bleffings attending a 
member of the vifible church — to what 
ftate, I fay, could he more properly com- 
pare the rcjedion of the Jews, and their 
exclufion from the peculiar covenant of 
God ? This was the dodtrine he was then 
entering upon : he had been preparing 
them for it by laying before them with all 
the difplay of language the law's inability 
to fave, the fatisfadion of Chrjfl, arid the 
ineftimable value of all the evangelical pri- 
vileges — Yet he does not even then begin 
lb oiFenfive a fubje(9: abruptly ; he firft of 
all endeavours to engage their attention, 
and befpeak their good will by a ** folemn 
affeveration of his fincerity, and an affec- 
tionate allufion to their own kind and ten- 
der behaviour towards thofe whom they 
looked upon as lofl and dead unto God. 

^ St. Paul's frequent proteftations of his affeftion to the 
Jeius feem ftrorigly to intimate that he was fufpedled of be- 
ing an enemy to his own nation, on account of the doc- 
trines which he preached— ij/a. the exclufion of the 'Je'ws, 
and the admiiTion of the Gent ilei — That this was really 
the cafe we are told by feveral of the Fathers — See in par- 
ticular Irenteut 1. i. c. 26. and Eu/ti. Hifi. Ecchf. 1. 3. 
c. 27. 


10 A Vindication of St. Paul, Gf<r. 

'For it was a cuftotn among the Jews to 
put oh folemn mourning, to faft and hum- 
ble themfelves, and by every mark of for- 
row fhew their fympathy with a perfon 
laid under a cherem or anathema, bewailing 
him as one who was dead. To this cuf- 
tom I apprehend the A'poftle to refer — 
I fay the truth in Chrijl, I lie not, my con- 
fcience alfo hearing me witnefs in the Holy 
Ghoji that I have great heavinefs and con- 
tinual forrow in my heart. Thus cautioufly 
does he proceed before he ventures to de- 
clare truths which he knows muft be dif- 
pleafing and ungrateful : and yet he hfcre. 
again flops fhort. He was going to de-. 
clarethe reafonof his forrow — viz. their 
being cut off from all fhare in the falva-. 
tion purchafed by the MeJJiah, their being 
excommunicated from Chrifi z% he himfelf 

' This cuftom likewife obtained in the Chriftian church. 
^ ;iujri)5 v^ jTfir&Ks mmjui 'i^i'i^tt t«5 ex^c^liVl«^ SiynKoirli cut 
off from the church a perfm that is incurable 'with.firrmx) and 
mourning is one of the apojiolical conjlitutions. 1. 2. 41. To. 
this cuftom St. Paul fecms to allude, I tor. v. z. — z Cor. 
ii. I. 3. and xii. 21. From the Jc'ws Pythagoras in all 
probability borrowed the cuftom mentioned by Jamblicus' 
in his life, c. 17. by Clem, Alex. Strom. 5. and by Origea 
p. 67 — 142. of putting up cenotaphs in his fchool in the 
room of thofe who had deferted it. 


A Vindication of St. Paul, &c. ti 

once was ; yet he. here again flops fhort, 
and by an elegant tranfition turns for a 
moment the difcourfe from them, and 
names no offender but Mmfelf; yet in 
fuch a manner as by a ftrong though deli- 
cate infinuation to imply their being in- 
volved in the fame mifery : and when he 
does mention them as the obje6b of his 
grief and afHidtion, he does it by the en- 
dearing title of brethren accompanied with 
a recital of the gracious refpeds with which 
they were favoured beyond any other na- 
tion under heaven. 1 hofoe great heoFoinefi 
and esMiniial forroni) in my heart (fir I my- 
felf likenaife once was an excommunicate out- 
c&fifrom Chriji) on account of my brethren, 
my kinjmen according to the fiejh : who are 
Ifraelites ; to -mhom pertaineth the adoption, 
and the gkry, and the covenants, and the 
^img of the law ; and the fervice of God,' 
and the fromifes \ whofe are the fathers, and 
of 'whom as concerning the fejh Chriji came j 
•wkfo is ofisef all God bleWedfor ever. Amen. 

* There is in the hiflory of the fews 

* See Cmieits it ^ep. Hei. 1. 2. c. 17, 

X among 

12 A Vindication of St. YAvXy &c.- 

among many others this one very remark- 
able circumftance j that whereas before the 
Babylonifh captivity there were no ecclefi- 
aftical fchifms but freqjuent apoftacies^ on 
the contrary after that period we read of 
no apoftacies, but numberlefs fchifms, va- 
rious and dangerous herefies. While the 
fpirit of prophecy dwelled among them, 
and God could be on alloccafions confult- 
ed, there was no room for difputes: or con- 
troverfies j God muft either be implicitly 
obeyed, or totally renounced. But when 
his more immediate interpofition was with- 
drawn, and the church committed to the 
care of a ftanding rainiflry ; prophetical 
^nd oracular declarations of his will (thofe 
great glories of the firft temple) were fuc- 
ceeded by the precarious comments of their 
do<3;ors, revelation by opinion. Hence 
arofe various feds, each of which with a 
partiality too common to human nature 
cheriflied their own offspring; liftened 
with more complacency, and adhered with 
more zeal to the fuggeftions of their own 
fancy, than they had ever done to the ora- 
cles of thofe infallible guides, whom God 
had fet over them. Yet the remembrance 


, A Vindication of St. Paul, &c. 13 

of the grievous calamities they had fufFer- 
ed fo efFedlually Wrought upon them, that 
there appeared under the fecond temple no 
traces of that pronenefs to idolatry, which 
had brought down the fevereft of God's 
judgements upon their church and nation. 
Add to this that the different fedls having, 
or pretending to have, the law for their 
bafis," every one of them however differ- 
ing in all other points agreed notwith- 
ftanding in this, viz. that every part of it 
whether moral, judiciaj, or ceremonial, 
was of eternal and immutable obligation ; 
and we muft do them the juftice to ac- 
knowledge, that in 'many inftances they 
bore with heroic firmnefs the cruelleft per- 
fecutions rather than depart from the leaft 
tittle of it. This law their forefathers 
had received from the hand of God him- 
felf i with them he had made a covenant, 
and had adopted the whole nation ; where- 

' Parti!;ularly under. Ptolomy Philopator; when out of 
rifany thoufand Jeins, which dwelt at Alexandria, only three 
hundred forfook! their God to gain the favour of the. king. 

~U..^.W» .»..»»«, V..— — — — J,- - .-. — — ^. 

The reft, though at the danger of thejr lives, flood a'll firm 
to the religion of their forefathers, and exprefled the ut- 
poftacy of their brethren. See 
2. book z. • 

X 2 by 

moft abhorrence at the apoftacy of their brethren. See 
Prideaux's Connexion, part 2. book 2. 

14 A Vindkatkn ^f St. Paul, &c^ 

by they became his '^peculiar people^ his 
firfi borUi the " ha,rs, of the promife^. En- 
trenched within thefe glorious privileges 
they thought themfelves fecure, whilil 
they maintained the outworks of ritual 
obfervances i and adhering to the rigour 
of the letter looked upon the favour of 
God as their ovyn peculiar and indefeafible 
inheritance, fondly appropriating to them- 
felves exclufively of all other nations the 
promifed bieffings. But now the " parti- 
tion wall was broken dQwn, falvation preach- 
ed to the Gentiles, and every one who 
profeffed faith in Ghrt^ equally admitted 
into the covenant of graces To explain 
this important point St. Paul enters large- 
ly into the true nature of the Jewifli oeco- 
nomy and of the covenant made with Ab' 
raham ; proving to them by the ftrongeft 
arguments that it was not made in confe- 
quence of the law or of circumcifion -, and 
that, as all the natural defcendants of yf<J- 
raham were not comprehenjied in the pro- 
mife, fo neither was it limited to them^ 
only i but that all, of whomfoever defcend^;; 

"» Deut. xiv. 2. " Extd, iv. 22. 

• Heb. vi. 17. ' ^hef. ii. 14. 


A Fkdkdtm of St. Paul, ^c. I5 

edi who followed the fteps of the father 
of the faithful, were that ffirkual feed to 
whom the promife was made. The^ad- 
miffion therefore of the believing Gentiles 
into the kingdom of the Mejiab Was a ful- 
filling of the promife, every title to which 
the yews had forfeited by their infidelity* 
and rendered themfelves incapable of th& 
bleflings by refufing the tertns 0f accep- 
tahce and falvation which God himfelf had 

So harfli and unpleafinfg a dodlrine re- 
quired great fkill and management. We 
hslye -already obferved how cautioufly the 
Apoftle introduces it; he employs the 
hmt tenderhefs and addrefs throughout, 
Ivith fucb argurijeats as refute their extra- 
vagant claims mining fuch topics, as in 
feme degree flattered their pride and pre- 
poffefllon. He allows and maigtfifies their 
high prerogatives and advatitages j and, 
wbilft he urges the ftability of God's pro- 
nttfes, be raifes their hopes and expe£tar 
tions, by fhewing that their rejediion was 
^either total nor filial, but that he had ac- 
tording to his free and gracious purpofe 
X 3 refefved 

i6 A Vindication of St. Paul, &c. 

referved a remnant, and would in his own 
good time reftore the whole nation to the 
glorious title of the people of God. That 
this comfortable aflurance might leave the 
ftronger impreffion upon their minds, and 
induce them to fulfil the counfel of God's 
goodnefs by their obedience, he clofes 
with it the argumentative part of his dif- 
courfe : but he does not entirely referve it 
for that period; he touches upon it in the 
words which I have fubmitted to your 
confideration, uniting himfelf, to prefs his 
argument the ftronger, familiarly with 
thetn< — / fnyfelf likewife was once an excom- 
municate outcaji from Chriji — ^wherein he 
not only applies his former fituation to 
their prefent cafe, but likewife reprefents 
to them by his example the method and 
aflurance oiF recovering God's favour. 

And what more forcible exaniple could 
he fet before them ? who could with more 
propriety attack their prejudices than he, 
who was known to have ^ imbibed thofe 

^ With thefe particulars (and he- appeals to the Jeuit, 
for the trtrth of them) St. Pa«/ begins his defence before 
Agrippa 4.^i xxvi ; that haviag thus previoufly fecured 
the attention and prepofTeilion of his hearers he might 


A Vindication of St. Paul, &c. 17 

prejudices from his infancy j who had been 
educated and brought up in the ftrideft 
fedl among them, had been remarkable 
for his more exceeding zeal for their reli- 
gion and the bittereft enmity againft Chrif- 
tianity ? Who could with more energy and 
convidion lay before them the ' exceeding 
riches of God's grace, than he who to a 
more immediate and extraordinary opera- 
tion of that grace owed his converfion and 
call to the apoftlefliip ? It is indeed a 
theme which he fo particularly delights 
in, that one of the fathers has not fcrupled 
to call him the angel or mejenger of grace. 

It is remarked of St. ^0;^» the beloved 
difciple of Chriji, that he feems to be in- 
fpired with a more generous affedtion, a 

urge, with more confidence of gaining credit, the extra- 
ordinary manner in which he was converted. He had 
nfed the fame addrefs before in his defence to the Je^s at 
Jerujedem, c. 22. I am a Jeio, brought up at the feet of (Ga- 
maliel, and taught according to the perfeil manner, ef the laiv of 
the father!, and tuas zealous towards God, and I ferfecut'ed 
this 'way unto the death, as alfq the high prieft doth Bear me 
miitnefs, and all the eft ate of the elders, from 'whom I received, 
letters and 'went to Damafcus ; and it came ti pafs, &c. 
' Ephef. ii. 7. 

X 4 more 

i 8 A Vlndk/ttm of Si. Pdul, ^e. 

more fervent charity y than the reft of the 
Apoftles : fuU of that divine principle, by 
which he had been peculiarly diftinguifh* 
ed> he urges it through all his epiftlee as 
the primary and effential law of Chriftia- 
Dity ; his difcourfes fpeak nothing, breathe 
nothing but love and cbariiy. In like 
manner our Apoftle, vfho had felt fuch 
powerful effedts of God's grace, by which 
he had in a moment from a blafphemer 
been transformed into a faint, from a per- 
fecutor into a liaftor, from an inftrument 
©f vengeance and death into a herald of 
peace and life — Our Apoftle, I fay (as if 
every faculty of his foul was entirely pof- 
l^ffed \>y that glorious attribute from whofe 
aftonifhing and more fjiecial influence he 
derived hisc fpiritual being) takes every 
where occafion to extol and magnify the 
riches dnd the treafures oi grace j he dwells 
Upon it in this difcourfe with all the rap- 
ture of holy gratitude, till loft in the un- 
fkthqmable pcea^ of God's counfels, by 
which his fevereft judgements conclude at 
laft in mercy, he breaks out in that extatic 
exclamation which clofes the whole argu- 

A Vindication of St. Paul, &€. 19 

ment — ' O the depth of the riches both of the 
wifdom and the knowledge of God! &c. 

From the warmth of St. PWs temper 
feme learned men have been led into a 
fuppofition that * he was prefigured by the 
patriarch Jacob in his prophecy concerning^ 
Benjamin, to whofe tribe the Apoftle be- 
longed. " Benjamin jhall raisin as a wolfi 
in the morning he Jloall devour the prey^ and 
at night he Jhall divide thefpoil. 

T own I cannot difcover the propriety 
of the application : I think with " one of 
the brighteft ornaments of our church that 
I fee better things in the great Apoftle of 
the Gentiles, * and things that accompany 

' Rom. xi. 3,3. 

' This was St. Aufiitfi opinion, as he tells us himfelf /« 
Nat. Mart. firm. 333. de Paulo Jpgft. Z79. 

" Genef. ilix. 27. The fierce temper of this tribe, de- 
fcribed under the charadler of a ivolf, ihewfed itfelf on 
ittany- oCcafions, elpecially in; the war-Which, it maintained 
againft all the other tribes, Judg. xx. The latter part of 
the prophecy I take to have been verified in the equal ri^ht 
which that tribe had with Judtgb to the city of Jerufakm, 
its adherence with it to the line of David, and forming in 
conjanftion with it, after the difperfion: of the ten tribes, 
the whole nation of the Jeiui, 

* lAi. Mede. ' Heb. vi. g. 

20 A Vindication of St. Paul, Gff. 

fahation. I cannot per fuade myfelf but I 
read reprefented in him the outlines of that 
myfterious difpenfation which we are con- 
fidering. His zeal for Judaifm, his en- 
mity againft Chriftianity, his miraculous 
and fudden converfion, the extraordinary 

, gifts and fpecial revelations vouchfafed to 
him in confequence of it, his being ap- 
pointed the chief inftrument in the hand 
of God for the converfion of the Gentiles 
are, if not emblems of, at leaft very appli- 
cable to God's dealings with the whole 
Jewifli nation. 

* Among the various methods by which 
God was pleafed to inftrud: his people un- 
der the law, he often made ufe of that of 
Jimilitude; the prophet afluming different 
emblematical charaders,. which they ap- 
plying to themfelves might be made fenfi- 
ble of their condition and God's impend- 
ing judgements. Thus " Jeremiah and 

y / haw spoken, by the prophtts ; anH J ha've multiplied w- 
Jims ; and ui'ed fimilitudes 1y the minijiry of the prophets. 
Hof. xn. 10. See Bipop Chandler's Defence of Chriftianity, 
eh. 3. fell. I. 

* Jerem. xiii. 27. 32. 


^ Vindication of Si. Paul, &c. it 

* Ezekiel are upon feveral occafions ajign 
unta them-y they prefignify and reprefent 
by their adlions what God had commanded 
them to declare of his counfels and defigns. 
^■Hofea's wife and children were patterns 
and figures of the idolatry, defolation, and 
reftoration of Ifrael. ' Behold (faith Ifaiah) 
I and the children whom the Lord hath given 
me are for Jigns and wonders, i. e. types and 
fymbols, in Ifrael from the Lord of hojis. 
Why may we not be allowed to fuppofe 
that 'God might, under the fecond cove- 
nant, condefcend to convey inilrudtion in 
a manner familiarized to them by the fre- 
quent miniftry of his prophets, and raife 
from among them an exemplar of his deal- 
ings with them, a vifible pledge of his pro- 
mifes, a remembrancer of his veracity and 
their duty ? Might not at leaft the Apoftle, 
"eminently fkilled as he vvas in their ab- 

, a Ezech iv. 1 2. 24. '' See Hof. c. i. throughout. 

' T/rviii, 18. 
' ■" It is plain to him that hath carefully read St. Paul's^ 
Epiftles, and is acquainted alfo lAiith the 'writings of Phiio, 
that the holy Apoftle .miell underftood the cahcdiflical theology of 
the Jeivs. Bull's Sermon on 2 Tim. iv, 13. Father Simon 
fays that a Jeiu, well verfed in ancient cabaliftical authors, 
freely owned to him that the Epiftle to the Hebreius muft 
have been written by fome great Mekuhal or mafter of tra- 
dition. Far from charging St. Paul with having perverted 


22 A Vindication of Si. Paul, &c. 

ftftifer learning, make ufe of xh^fymboHcid 
method of argumentation in which they fo 
much delighted to work upon their af* 
feftions j and temper the feverity of his 
dodrine by prefiguring to them under his 
own charadte'r, that though they were then 
aliens, outcajis, excommunicated, anathema- 
tizedfrom Cbriji, yet fhould they again be 
admitted into the pale of his church, the 
fociety and privileges of the faithful ? Sure 
I am that he ftrongly infifts upon this ex- 
emplification in the beginning of the ele~ 
ventb chapter. Hath God caji away his 
people ? Gdd forbid : for I alfo am an Ifrae^ 
lite, of the feed of Abraham, of the tribe of 
Benjamin. God hath not cafi away his people 
•whom be foreknew i Wot ye not what the 
fcripture faith ofElias', how he maketh inter- 
cejton to God againji Ifrael f faying. Lord . 
they have killed thy prophets and digged down 
thy altars, and I am kft alone, and they Jeek 
my life. But what faith the anfiter of God 
id him f I bav( refef-ved to myfelffeven thdu- 

},Iie true Jenfe of fcripture by his allegories, he highly com- 
mended his deep knowledge of the fublime meaning of the" 
Bible, and was always full of his great Mekubd, of whom 
he never fpoke fcttt with admiration. Hiji. Crit. du N. T. 
f. 248. 


A Vindication of St. Paul, &c. 23 

fund men, who bavt not bowed the knee to the 
image of Baal. Evenfo then at this prefent 
time alfo there is a remnant oc^ot'-ding to the 
elediion of grace. As the Apoftle here con- 
feffedly inftances Elias and th€ feven thou- 
sand faithful amidft a former general de- 
feftion of the Jews, as a proof that God 
had not abfolutely and without exceptioft 
rejedted his people j fo lifcewife does he 
by parity of reafon inflanee himfelf, hold 
himfelf forth as a type, as a pledge and; 
earneft of their future reftoration, notwith- 
ftanding their prefent national infidelity, to 
the glbrious bleffings promifed to their 
forefathers j when like him they exchange 
external federation for inward obedience, 
and accept the covenant of grace by faith 
in Jefus Chriji. For, as he declares himfelf 
to his favourite difciple 'ftmethyi. "for this 
caufe he obtained mercy, that in himfirji Je- 
fus Chriji might Jhew forth all longfuffering 
for a pattern to them which Jhould hereqften 
Relieve on him to eternal life. 

That there will be hereafter a gcnerjd 
converiion of the Jews to the Chriftian 

= I Tim, i. 1 6. 


24 A Vindication of St. Paul, &&. 

faith cannot, I think, be doubted by any 
one who reads with the leaft degree of at- 
tention the prophecies of the Old and 
New Teftaoient, and particularly what 
St. Paul (who was in a more efpecial man- 
ner intruded with this myftery) plainly 
and profeffedly declares concerning it in 
the eleventh chapter of this epiftle. In 
what manner God will be pleafed to bring 
about this gracious difpenfation is in no 
part of fcripture exprefsly revealed j but 
from the importance of the event we may 
conclude that the means ufed will he more 
than ordinary : and this conclufion is con- 
firmed by thofe paflages of holy writ which 
the cohfentient opinion of learned and pious 
men apply to this tranfadlion. They plain- 
ly indicate fome fpecial manifeftation of 
God, always reprefenting Chriji as ^appear'. 

^ We are told by St. Luke in the firft chapter of the y^£ls 
that <while the apoftles beheld, our Sa'utour luas taken up and 
a cloud received htin out of their jight. And — behold tiuo 
meifjiood by them in 'iuhite ajiparel, nvhich aljafaid — this jame 
Jcfus ntihich is taken up from you into heaven fliall fo come in 
like manner as ye have feen him go into heaven. Our 
'Saviour himfelf tells us — Then jhall appear the Jign of the 
Jon of man in heauen ; and then Jhall all the tribes of the earth 
mourn — (compare ^ei;.i. 7. and Zeehar: xii-'io.) and they 
Jhall fee thefon of man coming in the clouds of heaven with 


A Vindication of St. Paul, &c. 25 

ing in the clouds (that conftant fymbol of 
the divine prefence) ivith power and great 
glory. Our Saviour's fimilar revelation of 
himfelf to St. P^^/and theeffedts wrought 
by it were unexpedted and inftantaneous ; 
and we have reafon to conclude that the 
converfion of the whole nation of 'the yewx 
will in like manner be as fudden and lur- 
prifing as the outward means ufed to effedt 
it are extraordinary and miraculous. . * / 
will remove the iniquity of that land in one 
day, faith God by the mouth of his pro- 
phet Zechariah — This is beautifully and 
emphatically cxpreffed by the evangelical 
prophet. ^ Before jhe travailed /he brought 
forth J before her pain came, Jhe was deliver- 
ed of a man child. Who hath heard fuch a 
thing ? who hath feen fuch things f Jhall 
the earth be made to bring forth in one dayf 
or Jhall a nation be born at once f for asfoon 
as Zion travailed, Jhe brought forth her 
children. Then, will God's promifesi of 
fpiritual bleffiiigs be fulfilled : * God wVl 

power and great glory. Matth- xxiv. 30. SeeMari xiii. 
26. Lukenyix. ii. Je^s xiv. 3. 2)aa. vii. 13. &c. 

8 Zechar.\\\. 9. •■ If. Ixvi. 7, 8., 

' If.iX. 3. liv. 13. 


ad A Vindication ^f St. VsmI, (Sc. 

pour his fpirit upon their Jeed^ andhisblef" 
Jing upon their offspring. All their chil" 
drenjhallbe taught of God. There is fu re- 
ly a more than cafual coincidence between 
this laft circumftance and the extraordinary 
manner in which St. Paa/ received his doc- 
trine : he was literally taught of God. 
" Paul an apojile not of menj neither by 
man, but by fefus Chrifi and God the fa"' 
ther. As he received his commiffion, f® 
did he likewife his inilrudtions without the 
intervention of any human inftrument im" 
mediately and entirely from Chrifi himfelf. 
' / certifie you, brethren, tlmt the gofpei 
•which ivas preached cf me is not after many 
far I neither recemed it of man, neither was 
I t^ugkt it but by the revelation of Jefui 
Chrifi. No wonder that he who was fo 
highly favoured fliould be more learned 
than the reft of the apoftles in the myfticai 
truths of Chriftianity ■ — (They were part 
of the "^ unfpeakabk words which he heard- 
wben ^a&ivas caught up into par a^fe) — and 
more particularly the treafures of God's 
mercy to the heathen world, which he 

' Galatil. V. ' Galat.'x. 14, 12. 

* 2 C,m: xii. 4. 


A ^indicMtdn i^ St. Paul* G*^* 2f 

Xvas in a more efpecial manner commif- 
fioned to promulgate. ° By revelation he^ 
made known unto me the myfiery—that the 
Gentiles Jhould be fellow- heirs and if the fame 
body and partakers of his promife in Chri/i 
by the gofpel, whereof I was made a minijier 
according to the gift of the grace of God 
given unto me by the effeBual working of his 
power. By which laft words I underftand 
the wonderful fuccefs and efficacy which 
attended his miniftry among the Gentiles, 
on which account he applies to himfelf that 
prophecy of Ifaiah: ' 'To whom he- was not 
fpokeh of they Jhall fee, and they that have 
not heard Jhall underjiand. This fuccefs, 
great as it was, was but a faint glimmer- 
ing of that marvellous light; which, while 
it ^lightens the Gentiles t ftiall be the glory of 
God's people Ifrael. As the Apoftle was to 
the fews a pledge of their future ' releafe 
from the avMifia. they then laboured under, 
fo were his Gentile converts the firft fruits 
of that glorious harveft, when the fon of 

1 * ■ 

• SpW' »>• 3- 6. 7. • I/. 1". »S« ■Se«. XV. 21. 

P Lukexn. 32. 

1 I cannot but think this to be the meaning of that paf- 
fage in the ReveUaions, t^ 7mt tynsattiiffgi »\ik 'if«i *■"» 
c. xxii. 3. 

y man 

28 AVitidiemhH df St. Paul, &c. 

mah Jhall thmft his Jckle on the earth and 
tht earth be reaped. They were an e^rneft 
that ialvation ftiall Be hereafter univerfally 
derived to them from Ifraei, yrhtn \aut of 
Sien Jhall oncQ more gb forth the law, and 
th^ wsrd of the Lord Jtom ferufalmi For 
' if the fall of ihein be the riches ef the 
•worlds arid the dimiHiJhing of them therichei 
of the Gentiks j how much more their ful- 
nifs f And if the cqfting awa^ of them be 
the reeonciling of the worlds what i Jhall the 
receiving of them be but If e from the dead^ 

- ,»** ■ 

Theie mj^fterSes angeb themfelves ' de^ 
fire to hok intd: they are not vain fpecuk'^ 
tions, but vehdrable truths j from which 
(would time perrhit) many fublime and 
important concluiions might be deduced. 
Even frorfi the obftinacy of thie Jews feve- 
ral ai'guinents in fkvour of Chriftia^ity 
might be draWn ; the authenticity of holy 
writ might faiHy be inferred from that al« 
ihoft incredible care, which their pertina- 
cious attachment to the law induced thetn 
to bellow upon th6 Scripturftsj they not 

- 1- , 

kicah iv. i. « Rm. xi, 12. 15. 

I Pet. i. 12. 


©oly learned them from their childhood, 
but even reckoned every w.ord, every fyU 
MAe, fivery letter :i thofe pgffages in parti- 
cular which relate to th^ Meffiah are a 
landing evidence ag^inft tiiemrdves, an(| 
being preferved and ackaowtledged as ge-* 
nuine by the avowed enemies of Chriji 
cannot be difputed by any patrons of in- 

What a noble iibheme of jipftice and 
mercy is difplayed in God's dealings with 
his once favourite people ? What a forcl-- 
ble leiSbn does thfir rejeftbn read to us 
againil: ipiritUal pride, fecurity, and pree 
£imption ? What a comfortable argu|3ient 
do God's promi&s of taking them again 
into favour furni£h us with againft ceJi^- 
gious mdanchdy andxJeipadr?rT-^The fame 
and other ample matter, of useful confide^ 
ration, is afforded us in St. Paul's charadtei 
botb before and after his cgtnverfion. . We 
hai» in his oqnver&tipn |^aint^4 ^°> ^^^ 
ftrongefl colours the deformity pf preju-* 
dice, the odioufnefs of a blind ungovern- 
able zeal, of a fierce perfecuting fpirit. 
But how beautifully are thefe contrafted 
Y 2 'by 

3© AVtndteathnofSt.'?z.yAt&c. 

by a docile obedience to the evidence of 
truth, affedtion for his brethren, patience 
under fufferings and reproaches for the 
fake of Cbri/it unwearied diligence in 
preaching the gofpel, conftancy and perfe-« 
verance in it even unto death ? 

Thefe topics I might enlarge upony 
would time permit, to our mutual fatis- 
fadtion and improvement. And yet, if 
time did permit, 1 (hould be unv/illing to 
drav/ off your attention from that glorious 
fcene to which 1 have endeavoured to trace 
the myftery of ' the unfearchable riches of 
Chriji. This is that " manifefiation of the 
fans of God for which the earneji expeStation 
ef the creature waiteth; that kingdom of 
God. for which our Saviour has comtnand- 
ed us to pray j of whofe amplitude there 
fliall be no bound, of whofe duration no 
end J in which '^'righteoufnefs Jhall dnveil, 
and "> the work of righteoufnefs JJsall be peace^ 
and the effeSl of righteoufnefs c^ietnefs and 
ajfurancefor ever. 


he/Aiu. 8. " Rom, viii. 19- 

f 2 Pet. in. 13. f J/, x^ii. 17. 

A Vindicatton 6/ St. Paul, ^c. 31 

Let us therefore, 'who are delivered from 
the bondage of corruption into the glorious 
liberty of the children of God, * walk worthy 
of the vocation wherewith we are called, ' in 
all holy converfation and godlinefs looking for 
and haftening the coming of the day of Godi 
befeeching him that he would £hortly ac- 
compliih. the number of his eleA, have 
mercy upon all aliens from Chri/l, take 
from them all ignorance, hardnefs of heart 
and contempt of his word ; and fo bring 
them home to his flock, that they may be 
faved among the remnant of the true Ifrae- 
lites, and be made one fold under one 
fhepherd Jefus Chrijl our Lord, who liveth 
and reigneth with the Father and the 
holy fpirit, one God world without end. 

" Rom. viii. ai. » Efhef. iv, I. 

'^ i Pit. iii. I a. 

F I N I ^.